Nov 24, 2010

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

First, I want to wish all a wonderful Thanksgiving...whether your eating turkey, or going vegetarian, enjoy your meals and give thanks that we are blessed with so many choices when it comes to food. Think of others who are not as fortunate, and if there is something you feel you can do to help, do it.

Our family will not be gathering for the main meal at one of our homes, but meeting at a restaurant for dinner around the middle of the afternoon, then to my Moms for pies and visiting. We tried this for the first time last year, and it worked out nicely. Not too much work for any one of us.

With the changes that life brings, traditions change, but one thing that does not change at Thanksgiving time is the many things we have to be thankful for.

Nov 21, 2010

10 Iron Mineral Facts

Iron is a mineral that is important to many, but may be cause for concern for others. Here are some facts about iron:

  1. 1. Iron is needed and essential for the formation of hemoglobin found in our red blood cells.  
  2. 2. Iron promotes transport of oxygen in the muscles through formation of myoglobin, also in the blood.
  3. 3. Iron helps prevent anemia...a result of iron deficiency...and helps to stimulate the immune system.
  4. 4. A lack of iron can cause fatigue.
  5. 5. Iron is found in organ meats such as the liver, heart, kidneys, shellfish, and in vegetables such as whole grains, dried beans, fruits, leafy dark green vegies, nuts, and black-strap molasses...oh, and from cooking with cast iron.
  6. 6. Though there are vegetables that contain iron, some on vegetarian diets may benefit from iron supplements.  
  7. 7. Iron deficiency is usually called Anemia, and some symptoms that may indicate it are pale appearance to skin, fatigue, labored breathing when exerting oneself, and heart always, these symptoms can be caused by other things, but it's worth considering if you are suffering from all of these symptoms together...your doctor can determine this through blood testing.
  8. 8. RDA for men is less than woman - for men it's about 10 mg and women, 18 mg especially when menstruating.  Men are best off getting whatever iron they happen to get from their daily not take excess iron.
  9. 9. Vitamin C improves absorption of Iron, so you may want to take your iron with vitamin C supplement or drink of fruit juice like orange juice.
  10. 10. Use organic iron, not inorganic (ferrous sulfate) which destroy Vitamin E. Organic irons include ferrous fumarate, ferrous citrate and ferrous gluconate
For more mineral facts, click the link below or in the right margin under "Categories" for "Mineral Facts".

Nov 20, 2010

Are Store Brands as Good as Name Brands?

In a day when most of us are trying to save money when we shop, it's sometimes hard to know where to draw the line between saving money and buying food that contains the nutrients necessary to keep us healthy.  So how do we make sure that we are getting the nutrients we need in the foods that we purchase, even if they are generic or store brands?

In reading an article discussing the advantages and disadvantages of buying brand name formula vs. store brand formula, it occurs to me  that it is important to read the labels and compare products.  This is true with any food that you are purchasing.  You want to compare  not only the nutritional facts, but the additives that may be in the product you are considering.

In the article about formulas, it states that store brands can cost less because they don't advertise heavily, which is very costly.  This savings can then be passed on to the consumer.  In the case of baby formula, buying store brand can mean a savings of up to $600 a year to a family.  The article also states that according to the new 10th Edition of Consumer Reports there is "no need for parents to choose expensive national brand infant formulas over their much more reasonable store brand counterparts sold at retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, CVS, Kroger, Walgreens, and Babies R Us".

So read labels, and for the most part, be assured that you can safely buy store brands and save.

Nov 17, 2010

10 Facts about Vitamin K

There are times when Vitamin K is good for you....and times when it is not depending upon certain health issues you may be experiencing...we'll cover that in this post...a continuation of a series on Vitamins I have been posting on occasionally.

Here are facts that you should know about Vitamin K:
  1. 1 - Vitamin K is necessary for the formation of certain proteins that are called "clotting factors" which as the name indicates, regulate the ability of the blood to clot.
  2. 2 -There are also factors that are important in the formation of proper bone mineralization and the health of the teeth.
  3. 3 - Some with Crohn's disease and gastrointestinal disorders are benefited by vitamin K.
  4. 4 - It is rare to be deficient in Vitamin K because it is manufactured by bacteria present in the intestines...another "good" bacteria when working properly and in balance.
  5. 5 - Symptoms of deficiency (many of these symptoms can indicate other things, too, so see your doctor if you have them) include hemorrhages such as bloody urine, blood in stools, nosebleeds and in pregnant women, miscarriages...but again, different things can cause these symptoms.
  6. 6 - Studies suggest that perhaps men and women aged eighteen to forty-four regularly consume less than the RDA of Vitamin K.
  7. 7 - Most Vitamin and Mineral Supplements do not contain Vitamin K as enough is available in the diet.
  8. 8 - RDA for Women is 65 mcg. and 80 mcg. for men
  9. 9 - Contraindications - If you are taking anti-coagulants for any Coumadin and similar drugs that the doctor gives you to keep blood from forming clots, be sure to get instructions from the doctor regarding Vitamin K, generally it should be avoided but to what degree, this is up to your doctor.
  10. 10 - Vitamin K is a Fat Soluble vitamin
Updated 3/25/16

Links to earlier Vitamin Related Posts:

Oct 24, 2010

Reviews are In on the Nescafe Dulce Gusto

There is a new coffee machine in town, with outstanding features that is receiving great reviews!

The Nescafe Dulce Gusto machine is similar to Krups, using a high pressure approach that you would find in coffee house machines.  The machine produces not only a great cup of coffee, but that delicious frothy layer that makes your favorite latte or cappuccino delightful.  Your coffee-making experience is simplified by the fact that you use capsules designed for the unit containing 8 delicious varieties of Arabica Bean only coffee that can be customized to taste.  These include but aren't limited to Espresso, Cappuccino, Mocha, Caffe Lungo, and Caffe Americano.  There's Ice Cappuccino for those warm months, and for the cold winter months ahead, there is even a rich Hot Chocolate available.

All you have to do is put in the capsule which is specifically designed for the machine, and contains 100% Arabica roast and ground coffee.  This is the only kind of coffee we use in our home, as we think the flavor is superior, and I have read that there isn't as much caffeine in Arabica coffee.  I do notice it wakes me up in the morning, but doesn't make me as jittery...this, of course, may vary by individual.

Updated 3/25/16

Now, after writing all this, I have to go get a nice cup of coffee.

Sep 29, 2010

Organic Healthy Meals Delivered to Your Door

"Organic" seems to be the theme of my posts today, and I have found another great source for completely organic diet meals delivered to your door. As you know, I have tried NutriSystem a couple of times now, and though I have lost weight with the program, the foods are not all that a person who loves organic food would want them to be.

And what about the person who needs to avoid gluten? Watch the labels on the prepared foods for some of the popular weight loss programs, as many products contain gluten not only because it is naturally occurring in the food, but it is ADDED to some foods. You can visit the link to find samples of gluten free meals offered at the site I've been looking at today. 
Updated 3/25/16

The thing that attracted me the most was the idea of having healthy meals delivered each Friday, weekly, and the prices start at about $8 and change per meal. What a wonderful and  reasonable luxury...having someone else prepare your healthy organic meals for you.  It's also a great way to lose weight for the person on the go who doesn't have time to cook healthy meals for themselves.

Sep 26, 2010

New Place for Shopping Ethnic Foods Online

Our local food store allows you to order your food online, and have it delivered for a fee, and for a bit more money, they will come to the house and deliver it for you...but now I have been introduced to a site that has lower flat rate shipping than what I am paying to pick up my groceries, and free shipping in the US if the order is over $75...and who of us spends less than that in a week? 

Of course, I don't see some of the perishables that we are used to, but the site makes up for it by having some of the harder-to-find foods that I've been looking for in our super market, international foods from places like Indonesia, Japan, China, Asia India and more. And it also has the everyday American foods we are accustomed too as well. There are thousands of foods, and they claim that the selection is growing daily. I'm going to be taking an even closer look at this site after I'm finished typing this, maybe you are interested in doing some online grocery shopping too, if so, let's take a look together!

This is great not only for the working person, but for those who for physical reasons cannot get out easily and shop, or those who live in cities and do not drive but use mass transit to get around, or just because, like myself, you like to shop online.  They even ship internationally.

Whether you chose to use the link above, or browse or search below, shopping for foods online is a great way to fill your pantry. 

Sep 23, 2010

Routine Medical Exams: Are You Up to Date?

I'm on a "mission" of sorts to get my medical tests and exams finished before the end of the year, and the start of Fall means we are in the last quarter. I am insured under my husband's insurance policy, pretty close to reaching the deductible for the year, so it seems wise to get all the tests suggested by my doctor finished before we start a new year, and new deductible due. I am in my late 50's...hard to believe, but it's true, and before 2010 is over, making sure I get my:

  • Routine Physical - done
  • Skin cancer screening - done
  • Mammogram - done
  • Gynecological - this week
  • Colonoscopy (least favorite test...prep "stinks" but the procedure is easy) - date set for early next month - had polyp the last time so have to have one every 3 years until none show, then can wait the usual 5 years.
  • "Bonus" test - Echo Cardiogram - I think that's what it's called - an ultrasound of the heart to check on possible mitral-valve prolapse, and general "look-around" in abdomen while they're at it.
That should do it for this year, barring the unexpected.  It's important as years go by to make sure you keep up with your physicals and the extra tests needed, I used to avoid them, but it's always worth it when something is found that will prevent you from future health issues...or when something is found early enough to cure. 

Updated 3/22/16

Aug 14, 2010

Children Back to School in the Heat & Health

Since the children in our State don't head back to school until shortly after Labor Day, it is such a surprise to see that children are actually back in school in some states...this is especially difficult for those in States that are experiencing record heat. I love the idea of fitness, but hope that care is being taken not to overdo it, keep hydrated if you must go out and exercise, but if it is really hot, it is best not to risk exercise since there is no way to be 100% certain of the physical health of each child.

Fitness and diet is important, however, and we've looked at the topic more than a few times, here are some posts from the past that are just as relevant now as they were when first typed:

  1. Weight Management for Children and Teens
  2. School Lunch Programs and Your Children
  3. You Are Responsible for How Your Children Eat
Here's to a happy and healthy school year for your children, whether they have already started, or still have a few weeks of summer vacation left.  I hope you've enjoyed your children...I know that it's easy to look forward to the day they go back to school after a long summer...but I'm at the point in life where my children are grown, and what I heard while I was raising my children is true, you do miss them when they grow up! 

Updated 3/22/16

Jul 29, 2010

How Nutrition Helped This Woman's MS

This week I received the following story about how good nutrition and eating good nutrient-dense food helped a woman overcome her MS symptoms. I hope you'll enjoy this, and be encouraged if you are battling this disease. The same principles apply no matter what is happening in the body that is taking away our health and vitality.

My name is Colleen B. and this is my story. I had MS and lost my coordination; I couldn't walk, lost my eyesight, my hearing, and had a lot of other problems. I ended up in a coma. My brain swelled up and put pressure against my motor skills.

All I remember was combing my hair and I couldn't move my arms, I woke up 5 days later in the hospital in ICU. The doctors wanted me to take some type of medicine that I would have to shoot myself up with. I said no. They said they were not going to release me until I took the medication. At that time I couldn't walk at all. I was still in ICU and I demanded to go home. My husband was going to take me out without their release so they gave in and let me go home.

As soon as I got home I started researching natural cures. I hooked up with Dr. H. and he suggested that I do the Tri-Decathalon Full Body Cleanse by Wholefood Farmacy along with other suggestions. Within 5 months I went from not being able to walk, see, hear, or comprehend, to walking every day for an hour and a half, being able to see the beautiful colors, hear the birds, and comprehend to the point of becoming a Certified Nutritional Consultant and am working on my certification of being a Holistic Health Practitioner.

I thank God every day for giving me a second chance at life, and giving me the strength not to fall into the drug industries scams. I feel so grateful and so blessed for my achievements.

Colleen B - Conway, SC

Updated 3/22/16

Jul 20, 2010

10 Facts about Vitamin E

Months have gone by since we've looked at Vitamin Facts, here are facts about Vitamin E, followed by links to the Vitamins we've already looked at:

  1. Vitamin E is found in foods such as soybean oil, safflower oil, peanuts, wheat, rice, oats, leafy green vegetables, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, egg yolks, and wheat germ.
  2. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that aids the body in neutralizing free radicals that may be damaging.
  3. Studies indicate that Vitamin E may be helpful in preventing stroke and similar cardiovascular problems
  4. Though studies are being done on prevention of heart attack, there are conflicting results...but hopeful signs.
  5. Vitamin E oil applied directly to wound with potential of scarring (ie radiation burns, other wounds that cause scarring) will greatly reduce visible scars.
  6. Of interest to Diabetics, Vitamin E may be helpful in the improvement of the action of insulin.
  7. RDA for men is 10 mg. (15 IU) and for women, 8 mg. aka (12 IU).  When taking supplement, make sure it is taken in d-alpha tocopherol form (non-synthetic).  
  8. Safe level above what is indicated above is said to be 800 IU, and therapeutic dose (taken temporarily if above 800 IU) is said to be 400-1200 IU.
  9. CAUTION - Vitamin E has blood thinning properties, and should not be taken as a supplement if you are taking blood thinners such as Warfarin (Coumadin) and aspirin.  Talk to your doctor about this...if you are going to an MD who has knowledge about Nutrition, otherwise, take my word for it.
  10. CAUTION - If you are going to have surgery, including dental, stop taking Vitamin E supplements a couple of days ahead of time, again, it has blood-thinning properties.

16 Facts About Vitamin A

Updated 3/22/16

May 22, 2010

Raccoon Visit - Yes, I Fed Her Healthy Bread!

I thought you might like to see the raccoon that came to visit us dog and husband chased her up a tree and when I came out and talked to her, she started of course I went in and got some bread for her to eat, whole grain, of course. Got quite a few pictures, have given her the name "Golden Eye" because of what the flash does to her eyes.

We have a lot of wildlife around, and I enjoy all of it, from bears to snakes, to ducks to turtles, a long list of beautiful creatures that make their home in the forests surrounding us.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


May 17, 2010

Time to Watch my Culinary Herbs Grow

I do love this time of year, the winter was cold and harsh, dramatic weather in the spring with much snow then much rain and flooding, but now all is green and beautiful. So is the changing of the life, there are ups and downs.

If I were to judge how things were over the winter for my gardens, I'd have to say they were happy, as the plants have all come up healthy and are thriving with little help from me so far. Let me share a few of the culinary herbs in my garden this year.

 Lemon Balm


Actually all three of the plants above are from the mint family, this is why they like to take over the area of the garden they are growing in.  They are hearty and tolerate fairly harsh conditions, like relatively poor soils, heat, and drought within reason. I also had Catnip which is in the same family.  

They are so easy to grow, and each has a unique way of enhancing your dishes or beverages. For example, what Italian sauce is complete without some Oregano? And my Iced Tea in the summer just isn't the same if I don't take a sprig of Mint, clean it of the little bugs that enjoy it, then roll it between my hands to release the aromatic and flavorful oils then put in my steeping pot of tea or "sun tea" jar.  Lemon Balm has a lemony flavor, I enjoy it on a few things, like seafood.  Catnip tea is calming, and a lot of fun if you own cats!

There is another article about hard-to-kill herbs and plants at Weeds and Seed Swap .

Updated 3/22/16

Apr 18, 2010

Sea Salt is Better For Your Heart

We have been using only sea salt for the past 3-4 years, because it is so much better for you. Sea salt contains many minerals in it that occur naturally as it forms in the ocean. Standard table salt, sodium chloride, does not contain these minerals, is very refined, and sometimes only has iodine added which aids in preventing goiter, a thyroid condition.

My husband has been told to avoid added salt in his diet because of blood pressure. In my reading, I've found that Sea Salt, or some of you may refer to it as salt sea, contains minerals that help to compensate for the negative affect that can happen if you use regular table salt, also known as sodium chloride. Among the minerals sea salt contains is calcium, magnesium and potassium...potassium and magnesium are both so important to proper pumping action of the heart...and potassium acts as a diuretic, compensating sodium chlorides tendency to hold water in the body tissues. I don't notice any difference between the flavors of the two salts, sea salt adds nice flavor, but in spite of all the claims, we still use it lightly. I have been doing some more reading that indicates that you can get a low sodium form of sea salt, and will be doing a little more research on this, curious to know how you can reduce the sodium in sea salt and keep all those good minerals. 

Updated 3/22/16

Apr 14, 2010

Kitchen Staging and Home Buyer Tax Credit

To many, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and has a big affect on the value of the home. If you love cooking, you will see "you" all over the room...the appliances you like to cook with, the dishes you like and so much more.

But when you are planning to move, some of what makes the kitchen home to you will need to be removed, so that it looks like what I like to compare with an empty canvas, ready for a new home owner to come in and paint with their own likes.  Because the home buyer tax credit offered right now may not be available after the end of this month, more people than usual are looking at homes to buy, or selling their homes, so they can take advantage of the credit. An $8000 credit is a nice sum of money, my daughter purchased her home recently and was able to take advantage of this special tax credit.

How can you prepare your kitchen? Here are a few home staging tips for your kitchen if you are selling your home right now:
  • Remove Clutter - remove everything possible from your counter tops and any visible surface.  Pack it, if you can, because you are planning to move, so why not get started?  This will make your kitchen appear larger, especially if it is a small one like ours, and cleaner.  If appropriate, a basket or bowl of fruit or vase of flowers may be a nice touch.
  • Clean, clean, clean - make sure all surfaces are clean, all kitchen cabinets doors are clean, in our case I have oak cabinets and would go over all of them with lemon oil to give them a good cleaning and because it is good for the wood.  Do whatever is best for the surface you have in your home.  Clean the inside and outside of appliances you will be leaving behind.
  • Repairs - Are all the doors on your cabinets hanging properly?  Closing tightly? Tighten hinges that need it.  Are all door knobs present?  Would new door knobs or hinges improve the look of the cabinets?  Look over everything that you will be leaving behind in the kitchen when you move and make sure it is in good repair.
  • Walls and Ceilings - If you have neglected your home for a while, these surfaces may need repainting, new wallpaper, or whatever is necessary to bring them up to date and make them look pleasing to the eye.
With the spring season upon us and warmer weather in the northeast, and the special tax credit available, many more are looking at homes than usual, so be ready, and I wish you the best in selling your home, or purchasing a new one! 

Updated 3/21/16

Cancer Screening Tests for Women

It's Cancer Control Month, and one way to control cancer is to avoid it, prevent it, in any way possible. This can be achieved through nutrition as well as practical screening tests, whether you are a man or woman. In this post, the focus is on tests for women...this is the time of year when I have my physical and get the tests done that are recommended. 
Cancer screening tests women should have include the following:
  • Mammogram - Have them done as often as your doctor suggests to prevent Breast Cancer, or catch it in it's early stages.  I have one every other year.  I am scheduled for one in about 2 weeks.  In my case, I'm thankful that my insurance covers this, without dipping into my deductible.  You should also learn to examine your own breasts between Mammograms, do so monthly.  Here is "How to Perform a Breast Exam" from the American Cancer Society. (Men should perform this exam on themselves as well).
  • Pap Smear - This should be done to watch for any abnormalities that may indicate Cervical Cancer.  Don't panic if you test is abnormal, I've had times when it was simply an irritation or a polyp that needed to be removed, but do follow up with whatever is suggested by your doctor.  
  • Pelvic exam - this is usually done at the same time as you have your Pap Smear, a visual exam of the vaginal area and cervix for any abnormalities.  This should start when you are 21 or after you begin having sexual intercourse.  It is especially important for those who live at risk of sexually transmitted disease.  Virgins need the exam only if there are abnormal symptoms or discharges.
  • Colonoscopy or other colon cancer screening - before the age of 50, usually sample after wiping after a bowel movement is checked for presence of blood in a lab, at the age of 50, it is suggested that women and men have a colonoscopy every 5 years.  In my case, they found a benign polyp, so I was told to come back for one in 3 years.  If nothing is found, then I can wait 5 years again.  If your family is at high risk for colon cancer, colonoscopy may be recommended at a younger age.
  • Skin exam for skin cancer - there are 3 common skin cancers, the most serious being Melanoma - with so many spending time in tanning salons and not being careful when spending time in the sun, examining the skin for abnormalities is important.  
  • Oral Exam - this is done to watch for any abnormalities in the mouth and gums, especially important for those who smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol on a regular basis.
Please look at my posts under the general category of "Cancer" for more on this topic.  I'll add a post about tests for men soon.  

Updated 1/20/16

Please comment if you have a question.

Apr 2, 2010

Good Friday, Easter and Anniversary Blessings

I am looking forward to spending this weekend away with my husband as we celebrate 31 years of marriage, and remember the wonderful things that God has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Friday, remembering the price He paid for the sin of man, Saturday, enjoying the beautiful weather that we are expecting with much thanksgiving, and Sunday rejoicing as we remember Jesus' Resurrection from the dead (amazing thought! Amazing Grace!), providing eternal life for all who believe in Him.

May I wish you all a blessed Holy Week, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday.

Some favorite verses about what God has done for us: John 3:16 and 17; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23 to name a very few.

Updated 3/22/16

Mar 17, 2010

I'm Ready to Cook My Corned Beef and Cabbage

Happy St. Patrick's Day! In an hour, I'll be starting my Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner, one of the easiest dinners I cook each year. We only eat it once a year because all the seasonings and things added to the meat aren't something we want as part of a steady diet, but as an annual treat, it's simply delicious!

I've been blogging on here through a St. Pattie's Day or two, so let me find some former posts related to share with you once again:

Hope this is a good day for you, after the flooding incident I shared a couple posts back, I'm glad to see the sunshine today, and hope all is well with our readers in places who have been battling the waters.  

Updated 3/22/16

God bless!

Mar 4, 2010

Shelf Life of Frozen Foods

Most of us love the convenience of frozen foods, and I personally prefer them to canned if frozen properly, as they have not been put through a heating process that will destroy all of the nutrients in them. 

But how long can foods be kept in the freezer safely? There are general guidelines, but they are affected by how often you use your freezer...for example, I've had an old industrial strength freezer for years, a storage freezer that I stock with items on sale each time I shop...including meats, breads, grain products, legumes, extra boxes of pasta, anything that might spoil or be infested by insects if kept in the cabinets to long. I don't open the door very often, so the temperature is rather steady and the food will be fine for much longer periods of time. 

The freezer above our refrigerator that my husband and son open and close constantly, looking for snacks, and that I use more frequently for meal preparation is a different story, the temperature is constantly going up and down. Obviously these foods will not last as long.

Rather than re-invent the wheel so to speak, I'd like to share a link to a site that had a wonderful chart, keeping the above information that I've shared in mind while viewing the chart will be click to visit the food storage chart.

Mar 1, 2010

Thinking Spring and National Nutrition Month

Welcome to the month of March! Even though we have 2 feet of snow outside our windows right now, the sun shines brightly, and because of our snowy winter in the northeast, we look forward more than ever to the snow melting, and bulbs sprouting, it has been a long winter for us, and for many an exciting one if you live in places that have seen snow for the first time in a long, long while.

It's also National Nutrition Month. This is a time of year that was set aside by the National Dietetic Association to provide educational programs to encourage young and old alike to evaluate their eating choices, as well as what all of us can do to improve fitness. We're always looking at this topic in one way or another on this blog...please take a look at the many categories in one of the right columns for a topic that interests you, an area that you may need help in.

Wishing you all the best this month of March!

Updated 3/22/16

Feb 22, 2010

The Shape of Hot Dogs to Come

I saw a headline today that said that a change is coming for hot dogs, among some other foods, because they are a choking risk. How do you feel about this? Personally, I'm far more concerned about what's IN hot dogs than the shape. When my children were growing up, we occasionally ate "regular" hot dogs, but I made an effort to buy organic hot dogs, soy hot dogs, anything but the kind that have meat and meat by-products with lots of chemicals and nitrates.

As for choking, of course none of us want our children to choke on anything, I experienced this first hand with my daughter when someone gave her a round candy, and I didn't want to hurt the persons feelings, so let my daughter go ahead and eat the candy. In the car she choked, could not breath, and amazingly I was able to maneuver through traffic and do the Heimlich maneuver on her and free her of the candy...she was turning blue...a frightening experience. People have eaten hot dogs for generations, and grapes, and other foods that we can cut and make safe for our children. I would always cut grapes in 1/2, and as for hot dogs, our healthy version of them, we slit them in half down the middle.

I don't know whether we need to change the shape of hot dogs, and am not going to join that debate, but do use some common sense, and be equally concerned about the ingredients in the foods you are feeding your children.

Updated 3/22/16

Feb 9, 2010

Help for a Hearty Heart

Valentines Day is this coming Sunday, and this is a "healthy heart" month. My Valentine, my dear husband, has experienced a heart attack, and is a diabetic, increasing his risks in this area. Over the years posting to this blog, I've done several posts about heart health, and our experience.

To bring attention to them again at this time of the year, I thought I'd share links to some of those posts. They are:

My Husband's Heart Attack - Part 1

My Husband's Heart Attack - Part 2

My Husband's Heart Attack - Part 3

Hubby's Heart Attack - Final Post (I hope!)

ORAC, Antioxidants, Free Radicals, and What?

Heart Attacks and Women - Part 1

Heart Attacks and Women - Part 2

Anger and Heart Health

Connection Between the Heart and the Tomato

Updated 3/22/16

Jan 29, 2010

Restaurant Nutrition Guides

Last week we were out of town on business and found ourselves eating at a few different restaurants. My husband is a Diabetic, and we should be watching what we eat, but it's hard when you're on the road...everything on the menu is so tempting. Yes, many restaurants are taking care to have items on the menu that are healthy choices, but I've often wondered if there are ways to plan ahead.

SO, I did a little search today to see I could find a few sites that list restaurants, and offer their nutrition guides...and here's what I found...hope these will be as helpful to you as they are to me:

Diabetes Daily Restaurant Nutrition Guides
Restaurant Nutrition Facts at (a huge list!)

These two lists alone should be adequate if you want to plan ahead, and have a good idea of what foods are available when you're vacationing or on the road.

Updated 3/22/16

Jan 21, 2010

A NutriSystem Alternative Using My Own Foods?

In the past, I have lost a nice amount of weight doing NutriSystem. I'm grateful for the weight I lost, but was surprised at how easy it was to put much of that weight back on again. It is more because of eating foods that are not as low in glycemic index as NutriSystem than anything else, because I don't consider myself to be a big eater or one to snack a lot.

I have challenged myself to lose that weight again, and put the program I am using at another location on the web. The title is Replacing NutriSystem Your Own Foods - A Complete Weight Loss Program. This isn't meant to imply that what NutriSystem offers is bad, I appreciated the weight lost on the program...just wanted to see if there was an alternative way to do a similar thing. See what you think when you visit here.

Again, I liked the orderly way NutriSystem was laid out and may consider it again one day, just want to see how I'll do on my own.

Related Post:

Doing NutriSystem Gluten Free (With Correction)

Updated 3/22/16

Jan 13, 2010

Tuna Casserole - Tuna and Pregnancy

We enjoy a relatively healthy tuna casserole that I just made a couple of evenings ago. This is how I make the dish to feed my family of 3:


  • 6 Oz. of Whole Grain Pasta - Penne, Macaroni, any noodle you like 
  • 2 Cans of Tuna. 
  • 1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup, Condensed 
  • 3/4 Cup of Water 
  • 1/4 Cup Wheat Germ 
  • 1/2 teas. of Basil 
  • 1 T. Garlic Powder


So easy, cook the pasta. While the Pasta is cooking, mix all of the other ingredients (except Wheat Germ) together in a microwave safe casserole bowl or dish. Mix in the pasta after it has cooked and drained. Stir well, sprinkle the Wheat Germ over the top, then cook in the microwave on high for 15 minutes.

I serve mine with a nice tossed salad.

Oh you're wondering about the tuna and pregnancy part of the title...some have said that it isn't safe to eat tuna or seafood while pregnant because of high mercury content. 

I would like to suggest that you look into the possibility that avoiding tuna and certain seafood may be depriving you and your baby of vital nutrients...though mercury content is a real concern. There are fish that have high mercury content, such as shark, mackerel and swordfish. The size/age of the fish can determine how much mercury is in smaller fish. Do your homework, look into how depriving yourself entirely of seafood may lead to depression and lack of certain helpful nutrients and oils in their natural state. 

Enjoy the tuna casserole recipe!

Updated 3/22/16

You Can Still Eat Salt, Just Use...

...Sea Salt. And eat it in moderation. Sea Salt still has all the minerals intact and rather than raise blood pressure tends to keep it stable, or some say even lower it a bit. The problem with table salt is that all the good minerals have been removed from it, and the salt goes through a bleaching process.

This is another case in which something in it's natural form, within reason, is better for you than what you may be buying in your supermarket. It is great to see that a few companies, most notably some of the companies that make soup, are changing over to sea salt rather than "regular" salt.

2400 milligrams of sodium is the recommended daily amount (RDA) that should be consumed, less than a teaspoonful.

Excess salt causes the body to retain water because the kidneys are not able to keep up, and increases pressure on the circulatory system, increasing blood pressure. 

Updated 3/22/16

Jan 9, 2010

Time for Cabbage Soup Diet Talk Again - Recipe

Every year around this time, I give thought to trying the "Cabbage Soup Diet" to take off the extra pounds gained during the holidays quickly. I have done this before, and the first day or so, I do enjoy the soup, then begin to tire of it, and it does "keep you going", it's a good cleanse.

I am considering doing it again next week, just to jump start some weight loss that is needed, then get back on track by eating moderately and walking. I did NutriSystem last year and did lose quite a bit, but gained a good bit back over the past month. Here's what I've just read, thought I'd share it here with you:

Cabbage Soup Diet – The Recipe and 7 Day Diet Plan
By: W. Darren

At first glance, the recipe can be considered a very simple one. And it is. It was designed to minimize carbohydrates as well as caloric intake. Although some people comment on the Cabbage Soup Diet as merely losing water weight as opposed to true fat loss, the soup can be effective if it is only done the right way.
The recipe for the Cabbage Soup Diet is as follows:


  • 6 large green onions
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 Container (10 oz. or so) Mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • Half a head of cabbage
  • 1 package Lipton soup mix
  • 1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional) [may I suggest low salt]
  • 1 48oz can V8 juice (optional)
Cooking the Soup
The soup is prepared by cutting the vegetables into tiny [personally I like bigger chunks and chew well] pieces. Place them in a pot and boil with the onion mix soup as the liquid base. V8 juice is also recommended. After boiling, let it simmer for a few minutes. You can let the vegetables simmer until tender but if you want it chunky, you have the option of turning the heat after a few minutes. Some people have made different varieties of the soup, giving an Indian twist to the dish by adding curry. Some people also place different herbs like parsley or sage to give it aromatic flavor. 

The 7 Day Diet Plan

First Day

The first day is reserved for fruits. Any kind of fruit can be eaten, except bananas. The dieter can have as much as soup as he or she wants together with the fruit. On the first day, water is the preferred drink although cranberry juice and plain tea (without any kind of sweetener) are also allowed.

Second Day

On the second day, vegetables are the food of choice. You can eat them raw or cooked with no calorie or carbohydrate content. The diet restricts vegetables like beans, corn and peas. The diet suggests taking in as much cabbage soup as the dieter can muster. For dinner, the dieter is allowed one baked potato with little butter. However, the dieter is not allowed any kind of fruit on the second day.

Third Day

The third day is the merging of days one and two. The dieter can have as much fruit and vegetables as well as the cabbage soup on this day. However, he or she is not allowed a baked potato.

Fourth Day

The dieter can eat as many as eight bananas today as well as milk (should be skimmed). The cabbage soup is still the main course however for all three of the day’s meals.

Fifth Day

Beef is introduced on this day but only up to ten to twenty ounces and raw tomatoes can be eaten but it should not exceed six tomatoes in all. Drink as much as eight glasses of water today. The cabbage soup intake can be reduced to only once a day.

Sixth Day

The dieter can eat as much beef and vegetables today. And your cabbage soup intake can be only once a day.

Seventh Day

On this day, brown rice is the first truly carbohydrate rich food that can be taken by the dieter. The soup should still be taken once a day and fruit juices and vegetables are also advised to be part of the diet today.

Disclaimer: Please consult with your doctor before trying a diet like this, it is not safe for everyone. For example, diabetics may experience dangerous lows in blood sugar, etc.

Article from a site I owned called Selling With Articles. The link that was available no longer leads to the author's site.

Updated 3/19/16 

The Depression and Food Connection

We have just come out of the holiday season which many say is a time of year that is depressing for many. Depression can come from many things, missing a loved one that used to be present during the holidays, placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves, not remembering what the Christmas season is really all about, and on the list goes. Recently I received an email about the connection food can have with causing depression that I'd like to share with you.

A diet heavy in processed and fatty foods increases the risk of depression, according to British research published. Researchers at University College London also found that a diet including plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish could help prevent the onset of depression.

They compared participants -- all civil servants -- who ate a diet largely based on "whole" foods with a second group who mainly ate fried food , processed meat, high-fat dairy products and sweetened desserts.

Taking into account other indicators of a healthy lifestyle such as not smoking and taking physical exercise , those who ate the whole foods had a 26 percent lower risk of depression than those who ate mainly processed foods.

People with a diet heavy in processed food had a 58 percent higher risk of depression.

The researchers put forward several explanations for the findings, which are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry .

Firstly, the high level of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables could have a protective effect, as previous studies have shown higher antioxidant levels to be associated with a lower risk of depression.

Secondly, eating lots of fish may protect against depression because it contains high levels of the sort of polyunsaturated fatty acids which stimulate brain activity.

And they said it was possible that a "whole food" diet protects against depression because of the combined effect of consuming nutrients from lots of different types of food , rather than the effect of one single nutrient.

The researchers concluded: "Our research suggests that healthy eating policies will generate additional benefits to health and well-being, and that improving people's diet should be considered as a potential target for preventing depressive disorders ."

The study was carried out on 3,486 people with an average age of 55, who worked for the civil service in London.
How often do we have to be reminded of these basic facts? As often as it takes.
Wishing you the best of health in 2010!

From and email sent to my by Wholefood Farmacy

Updated 3/22/16

Jan 4, 2010

Iron Chef Takes On White House Vegetables

Last night while many here in NJ were watching the New York Jets defeat the Cincinnati Bengals (37-0!), we all gathered around the TV to watch a battle for the best using vegetables, greens and herbs from the White House garden. The contenders were Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse against Bobby Flay and the White House Executive Chef, Cristeta Comerford. Usually we record anything Iron Chef to our DVR to watch when we're ready, but this event we watched live.

We started out at the White House with Alton Brown introducing First Lady Michelle Obama in a very special guest appearance, inviting the chefs to take anything from the garden..with care, of course. It was the first time I'd seen the garden in full bloom, and it was beautiful! I guess the show must have been recorded some time ago, as nothing at the White House would have survived the recent cold and snow.

The kitchen was a frenzy of activity, as always, a few mishaps, like a burned fried turkey on the Batali/Lagasse team, but they managed to compensate for the damages and present some beautiful dishes to the judges.

The winning team was, as I expected, White House Executive Chef Comerford and Bobby Flay...I mean how can you let a White House Chef lose? Seriously though, I believe their dishes focused more on the ingredients from the garden, and the unique dessert which incorporated Sweet Potatoes, the one food from the White House garden that Michelle Obama said was a Presidential favorite, was the icing on the cake for this team.

If you go to the Iron Chef America: Food Network right now, you should find the information and other features about last nights event...but later, it may move off the front page of the site and you'll have to search a bit.

Updated 3/22/16