Jan 27, 2008

Recipe: Skillet Tilapia, Rice & Vegetables

I love skillet dinners...this Tilapia fish recipe is a delicious complete meal, well almost, every meal needs a tossed salad to be complete to me. Tilapia fillets are very mild, and the vegetables and seasoning at a perfect touch to the meal. 

As I update this in 2016, a lot has come out about how Tilapia is raised. It is good to find a healthy source for your Tilapia as much of it is farm raised in less than acceptable conditions. 

Back to the recipe, I received the original recipe from a friend, but like so many, it has evolved over time to become something similar, but different. 

Here is what you need to feed about 4:

  • 4 Tilapia Fillets 
  • 10 Minute Brown Rice or Basmati Rice, dry measure for 4
  • Water or Fat Free Low Sodium Chicken Broth, amount suggested on Rice for 4
  • 1 approx. 15 oz. can of Stewed sliced tomatoes, Italian Seasoned or plain
  • Thin Sliced Green Pepper
  • Thin Sliced Onion
Spray skillet with non-stick cooking oil.

  • Pour the rice on the bottom of the skillet, carefully add liquid, so rice is evenly spread over the bottom. 
  • Lay the fillets over the rice. 
  • Top with the stewed sliced tomatoes, spread over top. 
  • Lay out slices of green pepper and onion over top of everything. 
  • Season with Italian Seasoning or other seasoning, lightly sea salt, cover, and cook until rice is done and fish cooked through. 
  • Approx. 20 minutes after starts simmering. 
  • Serve and enjoy.

Variation: You can cube fresh potatoes and use in place of the rice with just enough liquid to steam cook everything.

Updated 1/21/16

Jan 25, 2008

Winning the Battle Against Germs

"Germs", the term we fondly call bacteria and viruses that surround us, are part of our life, we can't escape them, our bodies have built-in immune responses to fight them. Sometimes our immune systems are in great shape and can keep up with the work load, but most of the time the immune system needs some help from us.

Other than keeping our immune systems in shape with good diet and supplements, we do things to keep ourselves as germ-free as possible. Here's a list:

  • Keep some anti-bacterial hand sanitizer with you at all times, use it when you aren't near a sink where you can wash, like after shaking someones hand, after touching public door handles, after shopping and handling a shopping cart, after handling money, after touching just about anything a number of other people have touched. Of course, if you know your gong to be near a sink before you put your fingers near your mouth, or touch food your about to eat, or prepare food for someone else, you can wait, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Keeping your hands clean is your #1 defense against germs.
  • Keep your kitchen sink clean, studies show it's the most germ-laden place in the house. Clean the sink with water and some bleach a couple times a week.
  • Wipe down your counters with anti-bacterial wipes before preparing meals...I have a container right on my counter and wipe everything down before and after preparing foods, especially after doing anything with meat on the counter.
  • In public bathrooms, don't handle anything after washing your hands, leave the water on until you've grabbed a paper towel, dried your hands, and then use the paper towel to turn off water and to use the door handle to open the door.
  • Obviously, avoid being around people that are sick, coughing, sneezing, etc.
  • Washed cloths (esp. underwear) are not always 100% clean after washing in just laundry soap and water, dry in hot dryer, use a little bleach on light cloths.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Feel free to do so in a comment.

Updated 1/21/16

Jan 23, 2008

Remedy: Sweet & May Lower Blood Sugar

This remedy is something you can add to your food to sweeten it. It's not an artificial sweetener, but a natural one. I'm about to go in the kitchen right now before I finish this post, make myself an evening treat of yogurt, blueberries, a touch of vanilla, and this sweetener, mix it all together for a bedtime snack.

The nutritional benefit of the herb is not one that necessarily cures an ailment, but helps prevent weight gain if you are inclined to gain by using to much sweetener. It has 0 glycemic index, and so it's a wonderful food for diabetics. 

Some studies "have shown that stevia can help control tolerance, decrease plasma glucose levels, and reduce glucose production in the liver".

The sweetener may not be new to you, it's Stevia.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

Updated 1/21/16

Jan 19, 2008

Recipe: Yummy Fruit Soup

Here is a recipe that Paul Jackson shared some years ago at this update, back when there was no Pinterest, and no picture was provided. I hope you enjoy, it sounds delicious!

Fruit Soup


  • 1 can fruit cocktail (juice and all)
  • 1 can pineapple (juice and all)

  • 1 box instant pudding mix (I had lemon, but she said vanilla would work as well)

  • Banana (Optional)

  • Cool Whip
Pour both cans of fruit into bowl, juice and all. Pour in box of instant pudding mix (just the powder). Mix. Chill. Serve with dollop of Cool Whip. Bananas can be added immediately prior to serving.

Obviously you can pick the variety of canned fruits that suit your tastes (you can get fruit in natural juice, better than syrup). With fat-free, sugar free pudding mix and lite cool whip, you could make this an easy and healthy dessert or snack.

Updated 1/21/16

Jan 14, 2008

Tired of Being Told to Exercise?

I hope not, because it's absolutely essential to the body and health. Sure, you can sit around if you want, but it will catch up to you. My husband and I have both been trying to walk much more than we have been, and on rainy days, I even have a walk-at-home and workout DVD's that I can use in the house.

Here are some health facts listing some specific benefits of regular physical activity:

  • Helps many of the body's systems function better.
  • Keeps a host of diseases at bay
  • Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Protects against heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Helps protects against certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer
  • Helps prevent or control type 2 diabetes
  • Helps prevent arthritis and may help relieve pain and stiffness in people with this condition
  • Helps prevent the insidious loss of bone known as osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of falling among older adults
  • Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood
Do you see anything in this list from a US Surgeon General's report that you need help with? If your physical condition allows you to move, please do so! Start slow and build, you'll be amazed how much further and further you can walk as the days go by!

Updated 1/21/16

Inspirational: A Different Kind of Water

We talk about the nutritional value of water on the blog often, here's a post about another kind of water, spiritual water.

One day Jesus, God's Son, was on his way through Samaria, and came upon a woman at a well, and asked her for water. This surprised her, because Jews and Samaritans didn't have anything to do with each other. Here is some of the conversation between Jesus and the woman from John 4:13-17:

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
Updated 1/21/16 - Image Credit: pixabay.com

Do you want to read the rest of this story and see what the woman..and Jesus did? Click here and read John 4

Jan 12, 2008

Recipe: Corn and Cabbage Salad with Cheese

This delicious corn and cabbage recipe originally came from a magazine that I used to receive, and I honestly don't know what magazine it was from anymore. I've made the salad for years, from memory, which means like many recipes, it's evolved since the first time I made it.

To make a salad that will be a side dish for about 6-8 people, or less if you eat it as a meal like we often do during the summer, here's what you'll need:

  • 2 15+ oz. cans of corn, drained
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, washed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Onion, green or white, your choice
  • 8 oz - 1 lb of cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Green Salad Olives (w/ Pimento's)
  • Salt to taste 
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Light Mayo, more if needed, until salad ingredients are lightly coated
  • Top w/ Paprika OR Fresh Parsley for color
Put all ingredients, prepared as described EXCEPT the mayo and paprika into a large bowl, and toss well until evenly mixed. Then add the mayo and mix until everything is lightly coated with mayo, add a little more than suggested amount if you need to. Sprinkle very lightly over top with Paprika for color -OR- decorate w/ fresh parsley

Refrigerate until ready to serve, it's almost better served after flavors have time to blend.

Updated 1/21/16

Jan 11, 2008

Commentary: Remember Eating by the Pyramid?

No, this isn't a post about the pyramids of Egypt, but about a site that calculates an eating program for you based upon the food pyramid. The site is http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.There are a number of interesting links at the site.

For my commentary, I remember some years ago listening to someone speak about the food pyramid. According to this particular nutritionist, and others agree, we should really be avoiding dairy and eating only small amounts of meat, if any. I remember him pointing to the food pyramid and telling us that he believed that much more than just our health and well-being played into the decisions about the amounts included in each food group. For example, how happy would the dairy association be if everyone were to greatly reduce drinking milk, eating cheese, etc.? And how happy would the cattle farmers be if we were to stop eating meat?

This is all very controversial, and I don't lean strongly one way or the other, except in the case of treating animals, even those that will find their way to a dinner table, humanely during their life..after all, they are giving their lives for our stomachs. And I prefer organic meat, such as grass fed beef with no antibiotics or growth hormones. Meat, if eaten at all, should just be a small part of a meal, overwhelmed by salad and/or steamed vegetables, and grains or multi-grain pasta. As for dairy, I believe dairy is a mucous-forming food, and should be eaten in moderation. Many find that their upset digestive systems calm with reduction of dairy. Many, like myself, are lactose intolerant, do not have to enzymes to digest lactose in dairy.

So there is more to consider than what the government promotes as a way to eat.

Updated 1/21/16

Jan 10, 2008

Remedy: Food Remedy for Diarrhea

I am sure that if you know a little about nutrition, you know that Bananas are recommended as a food that provides Potassium to the diet. But it is also a remedy for a common ailment. 

Bananas are "binding", some say that the banana should be green to achieve this affect, but we find that eating any banana helps. The affect has been attributed to a few things. Some say the banana absorbs liquids in the colon which help in the forming a regular bowel movement, others attribute it to the tannins in the banana, and still others to the pectin. I would imagine that it is a combination of all of the wonderful properties of the fruit.

If you enjoy Bananas, and find that they are causing constipation, you may want to counter the affect by eating other fruits at the same time or on the same day as you eat bananas, like prunes or raisins.

You may also want to read about Slippery Elm, an herb that is helpful in soothing the intestinal system, and easing diarrhea.

Updated 1/21/16

Jan 8, 2008

Video: A Visit to the Chiropractor

I have been going to chiropractors since around the mid-1980's. I don't go as regularly as I'd like to, but when I do, the difference is amazing. 

My husband, on the other hand, claims that it doesn't make much of a difference for him. I suppose it depends upon what kind of problem you are dealing with. 

This YouTube video shows an approach to chiropractic. I've never been adjusted with the little "hand tool" this Dr. uses. My current chiropractor massages the muscles, then adjusts, which is great, as with the muscles relaxed, the bones seem to stay "in" longer. Whatever you think about Chiropractors, this is an interesting "tube".

Jan 7, 2008

Water and Heart Attack and Disease Prevention

Here is something that I received by email that I thought would interest you:

Drinking high levels of water can significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, say researchers at Loma Linda University whose research was reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 155, No.9). This exciting study reveals that drinking high amounts of plain water is as important as exercise, diet, or not smoking in preventing coronary heart disease.

"Basically, not drinking enough water can be as harmful to your heart as smoking," warns Jacqueline Chan, Dr PH, principle investigator and lead author of the article. Dr. Chan and Synnove Knutson, MD , PhD , second author, chair of epidemiology department, found that California Seventh-day Adventists who drink five or more glasses of plain water a day have a much lower risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared to those who drink less than two glasses per day.

The results from this study show that by drinking more plain water, healthy people without any history of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes-- reduced their risk of dying from a heart attack by half or more. This is as much or more than if they had adopted any other well-known preventive measure, including stopping smoking and lowering cholesterol levels, increasing exercise or maintaining ideal weight.

Because drinking more plain water is a simple lifestyle change that anybody can do, this simple practice has the potential of saving tens of thousands of lives each year with minimal cost . Neither total fluid intake, nor intake of other fluids combined showed this reduced risk. Instead, for women, high intake (5 or more glasses a day) of other fluids showed a greatly increased risk of coronary heart disease.

"People need to be made aware that there is a difference, at least for heart health, whether they get their fluids from plain water or from sodas," says Dr. Chan.

The article was sent to me by The Wholefood Farmacy.

Update: 1/21/16 - Image Credit: pixabay.com

Flavorless Fiber

Dietary Fiber doesn't have a lot of flavor, but it has quite a few benefits:
  • Dietary fiber, or roughage, is a known cancer fighter, particularly colon cancer. (Study in 1999 New England Jrl. of Medicine) It does so by adding bulk to your digestive system so waste spends less time traveling through the colon, so less time for carcinogens to be in direct contact with colon.
  • Dietary Fiber may help protect against breast cancer by binding estrogen. This affect was seen in a Jrl. of Clinical Nutrition study done in 1999, which cited esp. the consumption of whole grains and wheat bran. 
  • Fiber may also have a protective effect against mouth, throat, and esophageal cancers according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2001.
  • Most studies have shown that optimal intake for cancer prevention is at least 30 to 35 grams per day.
  • Whole foods contain two types of dietary fiber which are known as soluble and insoluble.
  • Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. It cuts cholesterol and adds to your feeling of fullness. Good sources of soluble fiber are oats, oat bran, oatmeal, apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, dried beans, barley, rye flour, potatoes, raw cabbage, and pasta.
  • Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is found in whole grain bran, fruit pulp, and vegetable peels and skins. It is the type of fiber most strongly linked to cancer protection and improved waste removal. Good sources of insoluble fiber are wheat bran, whole wheat products, cereals made from bran or shredded wheat, crunchy vegetables, barley, grains, whole wheat pasta, and rye flour.
  • Recent studies suggest that small increases in fiber, such as adding vegetables to a chicken stir-fry or having a hamburger on a whole wheat bun, do not offer much protection. On the other hand, when we replace high-fat, animal products such as chicken, fish, cheese, and eggs with plant foods, we easily boost fiber to levels where real protection is possible.
Updated 1/20/15

Inspired by an email received from The Wholefood Farmacy.

Jan 6, 2008

Spiritual Health: Guilt and Health

In the Bible in Psalm 38, the Psalmist, David, is talking to God, and asking for forgiveness for something he has done wrong. In verse 38 he says:
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin.
David realized that God was not happy with what he had done, and the guilt he was feeling affected him physically. How many times have you felt so ashamed of something that you've done, that it made you feel ill?

The wonderful thing is that David knew God so well, and God David (God called David "a man after my own heart"), that David knew that if he repented for what he had done, God would forgive him, and his close relationship with God would be restored. God provides a way for all of us to be guilt-free, happy, healthy people, and when we understand and accept that, we, in turn, can show the same forgiveness towards others.

Updated 1/21/16

All of Psalm 38 is good reading, if you are a human, and have a conscience, you will relate to it

Jan 5, 2008

Recipe: Country Corn Bread

Today's recipe is a delicious one by friend and cook-book author, Betty Lynch...I love the idea of adding whole corn kernels to the recipe:

Corn Bread
I suggest serving corn bread with many of my recipes. It is easy, quick and delicious. This recipe turns out wonderful every single time. Enjoy!
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Egg, beaten
1 cup whole kernel corn (frozen or canned) Note: If you use canned drain all liquid off corn.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups. Blend all ingredients about 20 seconds. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
 Updated 1/21/16

Contributed by Betty Lynch, Author of "Back to the Kitchen with My Country Kitchen

Jan 3, 2008

Pets Need Good Nutrition Too

Aspen was with us from March of 1999 through August of 2013 when she passed away. I was with her when she was born, enjoyed her delightful life with her, and we were with her to help her leave when it was wise to do so. I wanted to share this to update this post on 1/22/16. 

We now have a new furbaby that we adopted in the Spring of 2015, a Pomeranian named Happy, pictured here.

Opinions vary on the types of foods that a dog should eat. I share the following with permission, what you choose to do is up to you and your furry friend.

The right diet can help pets to stay healthier and live longer. It can even help prevent or manage certain diseases. A high quality diet will provide your pet with the correct balance of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients needed for optimum health.Your pet will benefit in many ways, from a shinier coat to a boosted immune system. Dogs and cats are carnivores. A raw diet or biologically appropriate raw food (BARF) diet is ultimately best for them. Dogs and cats have thrived in good health on real, raw food for many thousands of years. The best thing you can do to help your pets live the Longest and Healthiest Life possible is provide them with a quality Premium food.

Premium dog foods (the type of foods you do want) can be found in most natural or health food stores and pet supply stores. These type of foods may cost a bit more but the quality is definitely worth the extra money.

Prepackaged foods are full of preservatives and dead food/nutrients with no vital life force left in them. Foods containing artificial flavors, colors or preservatives are definitely the type of foods you want to try and stay away from. Colors are added for your benefit, not to appeal to the dogs or cats. Artificial flavors are added to enhance flavor or cover up off tastes of poorer quality ingredients.

Dietary fat, Vitamins, Minerals, and Water all play a very important part in the development and longevity of our furry friends. Dietary fat is the most concentrated source of energy for the dog and cat. Fat is involved in cell integrity and metabolic regulation. Saturated fat provides greater energy for dogs and cats than carbohydrates. Dietary protein supplies essential amino acids and helps in making antibodies, enzymes, hormones, tissues, and proper pH balance. Protein provides energy and is essential for growth and development. Vitamins are essential for metabolism regulation, normal growth and function. Vitamins are found in food and some are synthesized in the animals body. Minerals are essential to the dog and cat, and are involved in almost all physiological reactions. They contribute to enzyme formation, pH balance, nutrient utilization, oxygen transportation, and are stored in bone and muscle tissue. Water is an essential nutrient and is vital to every cell in the animals body. An adult animals body is approximately 60 percent water, with the percentage even higher in the puppy or kitten. Water transports nutrients and waste in and out of the cells.

Author: Donald Whitehead Donald is an avid animal Lover and feels that if you provide the absolute best care for your pet They will always be there for you.

Jan 2, 2008

January is National Blood Donor Month - Universal Donor here

January is National Blood Donor Month. 

I have O- blood, which makes me a universal donor, very popular with the blood banks, but have to admit that I've only given blood on about 4-5 occasions. 

The most recent time was for my own mother when she had acute leukemia. I was so very weak for 24 hours after giving, that I haven't done so since, but may try again. It is so important, and I imagine the stress of having a sick Mom may have made me weaker than usual. 

Here is a YouTube about donating blood by United Blood Services.

Updated 1/22/16