Lunch in a Crunch

“Mom! Where’s my lunch?” The scramble starts the minute the alarm clock alerted. Whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom, your day crowds at the starting gates and jets forward as fast as a quarter horse at the Kentucky Derby. As you are racing to take the kids to school, you throw a few prepackaged goodies in a paper sack and call it lunch. You promise yourself that tomorrow you will pack a better one.

Starting today say goodbye to the starting gates and hello time! All you need is a little time over the weekend to plan your week strategically. First, you want to prepare all your sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them. This will save you so much time each day! Start by making a whole loaf of sandwiches and store them in the freezer. Each morning, all you have to do is gather the goodies and throw them into a lunch sack. For a well-balanced lunch, pack one sandwich, a washed apple, crackers with pre-sliced cheese, bottled water, and a napkin. Viola! You have created a healthy lunch in minutes!

Being on the go is a part of a working mom’s life but remember you don’t need to feel like you are waiting to bolt through the starting gates each morning. With a little preplanning, you can glide into your morning with the added comfort of knowing that one of your many daily tasks is already completed. Now it’s time to plan for dinner!

Source by April Brown

Tips For Planning A Child’s Birthday Menu

The foods you select to serve at a birthday party for a child is important for your guests’ enjoyment. This is especially true when it comes to the choices you make for children. You may a picky eater on the guest list or one who has allergies to certain foods. Learn more about the safest way to make choices for your birthday menu.

Before you begin making a list to take with you to the supermarket, talking to the parents of your little guests is a good idea. Learn about any allergies you will need to be aware of during meal preparation. Some kids are allergic to peanuts while others have serious allergies to dyes. Always making sure about the foods you choose for your guests is the best way to plan a menu.

Finger foods are perfect for smaller children. The kids at your party are going to be excited. Allowing children to have snacks they can grab and eat is better than trying to get everyone still at a table. One great choice for finger foods is sandwiches. However, how creative you are with sandwich making is always a plus when it comes to kids.

Cutting whole sandwiches into unique and cool shapes can help to make them irresistible for kids. Pick out cookie cutters and once you have built the number of sandwiches you need, cut them all out into different shapes. Cookie cutters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you will have a great selection to choose from.

Pigs in a blanket is the perfect finger snack for kids. These yummy snacks not only provide fulfilling, good food, you also get fun in the name. Cut several hotdogs in half. Wrap each half in ready to bake canned biscuit dough. Place them about half an inch apart of a cookie sheet and pop them into the oven. You night also consider using ready made croissant dough as well.

The time of year can help you make the right choices for party foods as well. The greatest benefit of summer time parties, especially for children, is grilling out. Most kids love hotdogs and hamburgers cooked on the grill. Something about cooking outdoors brings about another level excitement for little ones.

The parties you have for children are the one that build long lasting memories. Making sure you do everything to make your party most enjoyable for everyone starts with the kinds of kids birthday food you choose to serve.

Source by Ross D Taylor

Child Health – What Can We Do?

There is a lot of concern about child health in America at the moment. This is not a new phenomenon – Calvin Coolidge instigated the annual ‘Child Health Day’ in 1928. It is held on the first Monday of October each year. Health professionals from all over America meet to discuss child nutrition, fitness, obesity and health education.

Most health professionals agree that the key to healthy choices is education from an early age before bad habits have time to form. Parents need to protect and develop their children’s health from the outset.

Apparently, one in six children in America is obese and this can lead to health problems such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

What Can We Do?

The problem today is that children have access to computers, electronic games and of course television. Obviously these are all sedentary pastimes and children are not getting enough exercise.

In the past children would play out on the street with their friends running here, there and everywhere – only coming home when they were hungry or it was getting dark. These days’ security conscious parents are not willing to allow their children out alone – it is much easier and safer to let them sit in front of the television or on a computer. In addition, because of time constraints and work commitments, children are usually driven everywhere by parents.

One solution to this problem is to enroll your child in one of the many child education schemes available. Many of these schemes combine games and exercise and learning and can greatly enhance your child’s social and behavioural skills.

A Child’s Diet Is Important.

Another major problem in child health care is diet.

Firstly it is important to lead by example – overweight parents tend to have overweight children. Serve a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and watch the portion size – a seven or eight year old does not need an adult portion. Cut down on snacks and fizzy drinks – or make sure snacks are healthy. Children can easily get used to peeled baby carrots (very crunchy and sweet), apple and banana slices or seedless grapes.

If you take your child to one of the excellent child education schemes make sure their lunch box is packed with healthy food.

You can provide peeled sliced raw vegetables with a yoghurt dip, some whole grain bread, a favourite fruit, some cold chicken, a mixed salad with sweet corn and grated carrot – and to drink, water or semi-skimmed milk. Whatever you do leave out the cookies, chips, chocolate and fizzy drinks!

Source by Artur V Cosicov

How to Cure Hemorrhoids With Beer, Chocolate and Walnuts

Now you can cure hemorrhoids with delicious tasting, fun foods!  What more could you ask? 

Experts estimate that as much as 90 percent of all diseases are linked to free-radical damage in the body.   Hemorrhoids are caused by free radical damage to the region in and around the anus.  

Free radicals are a natural byproduct of the body turning food into energy.  However, if there are more free radicals than the body needs, they can become harmful.  

Excess free radical buildup can be caused by stress, cigarette smoking, harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, the waste product of metabolism, toxic chemicals from pollution, contaminates and/or pesticides in foods, and high intensity/short period exercising known as distress exercise. 

Free radicals are associated with oxygen molecules that damage cells in the body by stealing electrons from them. Antioxidants stop the damage by providing the electrons demanded by the dysfunctional oxygen molecules.  When the body can not produce enough antioxidants, supplements are needed to keep the body healthy.

Fortunately, there are many foods that provide antioxidant materials for the body like fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating a wide range of different types and colors – blueberries, green and red grapes and deep orange fruits will provide the “free radical scavengers” to neutralize the damaging molecules. 

Of the many foods, barley is one of the better antioxidants.  Barley is used in beer, so drinking beer will help cure hemorrhoids as well as other illnesses.

Similarly, dark chocolate has been shown to be a great producer of antioxidants.  Dark chocolate is especially good for the skin.  This is why it proves useful in the treatment of hemorrhoids.  Hemorrhoids are a skin condition.  

Walnuts are another food that helps produce an above-average number of “free radical scavengers”.  Walnuts are high on the list of antioxidants because they are rich in vitamin E.  Walnuts also contain omega 3 fatty acids which have been shown to reduce fat.  Excess fat is often associated with hemorrhoid problems. 

Now, you don’t have to drink beer in order to get your share of antioxidants from barley.  In fact, you can combine barley, chocolate and walnuts to make delicious cookies.  Here’s the recipe: 

  • 1-1/2 cups organic barley flour
  • 3-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup rice syrup or malt syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnut
  • 1 cup dark chocolate or carob chips
  1. Place the barley flour in a large bowl. Add the baking powder and mix well. Slowly stir in the oil and work it through the flour with a fork until it is evenly distributed. Add the rice syrup or malt syrup, vanilla, and egg. Mix until a stiff dough is formed. Add the walnuts, the chocolate or carob chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough
  2. Dip a 2-tablespoon measure (such as a coffee scoop) in water to keep dough from sticking to it. Use this measure to scoop the dough onto an oiled cookie sheet. Wet your hand in cool water and flatten each cookie with your palm. Bake at 350F for 10 – 12 minutes.

There you go!  Now you can get rid of hemorrhoids by eating cookies.

Source by Daniel Griffiths

The Sacrificial Tuna

I didn’t grow up in a religious house. We were “High Holiday Jews,” which, in layman’s terms, are Jews who only attend synagogue on the most sacred Jewish holidays. On those days, we would solemnly pray and rend our garments and starve ourselves in worship of the Lord. But every other day of the year the Lord could go fly a kite.

As a child, I particularly liked Yom Kippur, when adults are not allowed to have anything to eat or drink all day. The official reason for the fast is to cleanse our souls of the sins of the previous year. I suspect the actual reason for the fast is to give Jews another reason to complain.

I used to make wagers with myself as to which elderly parishioner would faint each year from dehydration, starvation, or Metamucil withdrawal. After the first one dropped, the rest of the parishioners often gave up on their own efforts, viewing the unlucky victim as a necessary sacrifice to a merciless God.

“Oy, I’m not going like Ida, someone get me some rugaleh!”

Even more than the fainting alta cockers,* though, my favorite part of Yom Kippur was that, as a kid, I was immune from the ritual fast. I’m not quite sure why that is. Kids sin just as much as adults do, and often without guilt or awareness that they did anything wrong. My Hebrew School class alone was a hotbed of emotional torture and abuse. The Torah was no match for atomic wedgies.

I suspect the true goal of allowing children to eat while their parents starve, like the goal of most Jewish traditions, is to instill a sense of guilt in the children. Of course, most kids would probably have some sympathy for their parents on Yom Kippur. And I did, in those first few self-aware years. But by the time I was 9, I had grown weary of my mother’s constant guilt trip. Nothing too small or trivial was immune from its reach.

“You finished the milk? Oh well, calcium, shmalcium. Who needs a skeletal system?”

“Did you fill the gas tank? Last week you forgot, I almost ran out of gas on the highway. I suppose I deserve to be run down by an eighteen wheeler, huh.”

“Happy Birthday, Jo! Just about this time 29 years ago I was receiving my third blood transfusion and writhing in agony.”

It was almost calming, in a way, the stability of it all. The seasons could change, communism could fall, and my testicles could drop, but I could always depend on the eternal guilt trip. Still, you can only cry wolf so many times before the villagers stop come running.

So when Yom Kippur rolled around, I didn’t pay much attention to my mother’s complaining. Years of living with her had provided me with built-in earplugs, tuned into her frequency only. Most Jewish kids develop them, out of sheer necessity. It was either that, or become a momma’s boy. I already had enough to contend with without adding a Norman Bates complex to the mix.

But just because I didn’t sympathize doesn’t mean I instigated. You might not feel bad for a harpooned man-eating shark, but you don’t get near its jaws while it’s still thrashing about. Usually I just stayed out of her harpooned way on Yom Kippur, much like I did on any other day that she might be unstable, like her day of the month, tax day, weekdays. I envied my friends who had alcoholics for parents — at least their mood swings are predictable from the smell of their breath. Plus they always had good booze in their liquor cabinets. We had Manishevitz, which is only good if you prefer diabetic comas.

It wasn’t difficult to stay out of her way, for the most part. As the offspring of narcissists, I was almost entirely self-sufficient by the time I was 5 years old. I was the only pre-schooler with his own ironing board and first-aid kit. My sister did her best to shoulder the responsibility, but my parents had an effective divide and conquer strategy that Hirohito would have admired. In my house it was every toddler for himself.

Unfortunately, though I was self-sufficient, I was not very handy. Failure to operate the most basic household tools is the first sign of homosexuality. Gays often have difficulty working with their hands, and are prone to tripping over their own feet. Something about homosexuality impedes hand-eye coordination, which seems anomalous, considering our wonderful hand-eye-penis coordination. I’m pretty sure at least half of Jerry’s kids were actually just severe homosexuals.

Usually my lameness had little impact on my self-sufficiency, even when personal possessions would rip, tear, or break. It’s not difficult to work around physical lameness, once you realize that squares can actually fit inside circles and vice versa. You’d be amazed at how little masking tape it takes to reattach a stuffed Miss Piggy head to her body.

So masking tape, thumbtacks, and other primitive tools allowed me to survive without resorting to help from my parents. But when I turned 11, I developed an addictive taste for tuna fish. I never really liked tuna fish before; actually, as a kid, I avoided all canned foods. Something about eating food out of a can disturbed me. Despite our high-tech, modern world, we still eat food from cans. It seemed like a ritual from bygone eras, from before the days of computers and digital watches. It was an out-dated tool of survival. Like locomotives, or procreation.

Somewhere around prepubescence, though, I lost my sensitivity towards metal-encased food products. Which required me to use a can opener, the most enigmatic of all kitchen utensils. Have you ever examined a can opener? All those wheels and levers and intricate mechanical functions. And I’m not even talking about the really complex ones with all the extra bells and whistles. You know, the ones that cost the same as a studio apartment in Bensonhurst.

Suddenly, for the first time since the womb, I was dependent on my mother again. It was not a pleasant feeling. I tried to avoid seeking my mother’s help. First I tried to ween myself off of tuna fish, but that was no use. I have an addictive personality. Fortunately my addictions tend towards mostly benign activities, like bathing, or oral sex. But once I click with a certain food product, I can’t stop myself. I’ve single-handedly kept Frito-Lays in business for the past thirty years.

Next I considered asking strangers to open the can. I was sure I could find someone in the street to do it. I was a pretty cute kid.

“Excuse me, kind sir. Would you please open this can for me?” I’d ask a passer-by, holding out the can opener. I was so skinny as a kid, he’d probably think I was a starving child, perhaps being neglected by his parents. I considered the possibility that he might call Child Protective Services who would take me away, but that was a risk I was willing to take for a tuna fish sandwich. Plus I figured the boys’ home would probably serve tuna fish for lunch all the time.

It seemed like a good plan, except I lived in the suburbs, and there were almost no pedestrians. My neighbors were not an option either. We had alienated them long ago with our very constant and very loud arguments. I’m not sure who called the police on us more often. It was probably about half and half. Either way, it’s not easy to enjoy Wheel of Fortune with your next-door neighbor screaming at her husband at the top of her lungs for purchasing another laser disc player.

After a year of debating my options, I decided that either I had to learn how to use a can opener, or else resign myself to needing my mother’s help for the rest of my life, which was of course not without precedent. I’m pretty sure Carol Brady made her kids lunch when they were well into their 20s and 30s. But then again, I’m pretty sure she also bathed them when they were well into their 20s and 30s, and that did not appeal to me at all. Still, all things being equal, I enjoy a challenge, as long as it doesn’t require public nudity or anything sports-related.

So when Yom Kippur came around that year, it was a perfect opportunity for me to develop my can opening skills. My parents spent most of the day in their separate bedrooms, ostensibly contemplating their sins of the past year but more likely blaming each other for them, so I would have full reign over the kitchen to tackle the white whale standing between me and my meal. And it wasn’t just lunch that I was after — tuna fish is a wonderfully multifunctional canned food. Make a boy a tuna fish sandwich and he’ll have lunch. Teach a boy how to use a can opener and he’ll have dinner.

The coast clear, I reached into the kitchen drawer and extracted my mortal enemy from its resting place. It came willingly, without a fight. Its complacency only heightened my resolve.

“It’s you or me, Mister,” I said to the utensil. I liked calling inanimate objects “Mister.” Except my stuffed Miss Piggy, who insisted on being called “Ma’am.”

Next I took a can of tuna fish out of the cupboard and held it up to my nose. I could smell the bitterly sweet tang of the tuna inside. It struck me how just a few millimeters of metal made the difference between survival and starvation. The tuna called to me, saying “eat me” over and over again. This was before those words took on a different meaning in my world.

I placed the can on the counter and arranged the can opener above it in the most logical manner possible. The opening mechanism slid into place. Success! I reviewed the notes I had taken the last time my mom used the can opener. I had watched her carefully in preparation for this momentous occasion. She was opening a can of dog food at the time, but I figured a can was a can.

According to my detailed instructions, the next step was turning the knob clockwise. I estimated it would take at least eight to ten twists to open the can. Everything was going as planned. I felt energized, probably how a military commander feels when he leads his army into a battle he knows he will win. I was just a few moments from tuna nirvana. This wouldn’t be just lunch. This would be a personal triumph.

I gripped the knob with my left hand and began twisting. Unfortunately, I forgot to remove my right hand from the can when I did. The opener sliced into my index finger.

“Fucking shit!” Those words still have the same meaning in my world.

I ran to the kitchen sink and held my bleeding finger under the running water. My eyes began to well with tears. Not because of the blood — as a world-class klutz, I was accustomed to cutting myself with various sharp instruments. Even a fine-toothed comb can be a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.

No, I was disappointed in my failure. Did this mean that I was doomed forever to seek my mother’s help every time I wanted tuna fish? This had dire implications for my future. Would I have to go to a local college, just so I could come home every day and have tuna fish? Would I need to live with my mother for the rest of my life, to feed this addiction? And what if I developed a taste for other canned foods? I didn’t love canned corn yet, but my tastes were notoriously erratic.

“Jonah, what are you doing?”

It was my mom. After a day of not eating, she looked even more gaunt than usual. Her hair fell lightly around her shoulders, instead of being pulled into its customary stern bun. She was wearing her aqua blue housedress, one of three housedresses she wore on a repeating cycle. She owned a fourth one also, a pink and purple number with white trim, but she only wore that one when the other three were in the wash. I never quite understood why that one was the alternate. It was prettier than the other three. Maybe she was saving it for special occasions, but I doubted that the Queen was going to come over to watch my mom clean the toilets anytime soon.

“I was . . . I was . . .”

I couldn’t finish the sentence. I was frightened, not just that she would be angry at the mess, but that she would be angry at having a failure for a son.

She turned off the running water and wrapped my finger with a paper towel.

“Come on.” She led me to the bathroom. “Sit.”

She took out some rubbing alcohol and a bandage from the medicine cabinet, and started dressing the wound. Her eyes were half-closed, and her legs appeared ready to give out any second. I didn’t want her to fall on the bathroom floor, which was cold, unforgiving marble. (My parents had rejected out-of-hand my suggestion to install pea-green shag carpeting in the bathroom.) But she didn’t seem to notice her own weakness. As she wiped the blood from my fingers, she moved with instinct, not with deliberation.

She covered the cut with a Kermit band-aid. She wouldn’t buy me Miss Piggy band-aids — presumably, a pre-emptive attempt to curtail my sexual orientation — so I settled on Kermit. Which was fine with me. Something about his color struggle appealed to me. Plus there is something inherently antiestablishment about a frog who loves a pig.

“Let’s go.”

She led me back to the kitchen. I sat at the kitchen table while I watched her prepare my lunch. Her hands shook while she twisted the can opener and dumped its contents into a tupperware container. She mixed the tuna fish with a little mayo and sliced some lettuce and tomato, which she placed on the bread — steps I was planning to skip in my attempt to prepare lunch, as they required handling a knife, and I was pushing my luck already. She garnished the plate with two chocolate chip cookies and slid it in front of me, along with a big glass of milk.

“Eat.” She kissed my forehead, and left me with my hard-earned sandwich. I watched her stumble out of the kitchen. She looked small and frail, the aqua blue housedress hanging around her like a potato sack, a few stray grey hairs around her temples belying her age. There was so little to her, without her force of will to hold her up. I imagined a day when she would be sitting at the same table, and I would make her lunch and kiss her on the forehead. I expected that day to come sooner than I expected, whether I wanted it to or not.

So I couldn’t operate a can opener. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. There were some good local colleges, and I could live rent-free. Plus, I hate moving, especially packing. There was always so much dust on everything, and reminders of times past that you wished were present.

Fortunately, by the following Yom Kippur I had lost my taste for tuna fish. And I knew how to open a peanut butter jar.

Source by Jonah Haslap

Advantages of Cupcakes

More and more often people are using elaborate cupcake displays rather than traditional cakes for special occasions such as weddings, baby showers, birthdays, parties or festive holidays. Cupcakes, being little miniature cakes are becoming extremely popular because they have so many great qualities that set them apart from everyday regular cakes.

Cupcakes are so simple to make, they are easy to eat, look cute, taste wonderful and can be decorated creatively to match the theme of your event. In fact it now seems that more and more people are fast becoming cupcake fans due to their wonderful qualities and truly inspired designs.

Cupcakes have been around for a long time, yet now it seems that they are making a welcome reappearance in today’s world. This could be due to the fact that they are so simple to make, appeal to people of all ages and can be decorated in many different ways that makes them highly versatile.

They make a great dessert treat as an alternative to traditional desserts such as cakes and chocolates. They also work really well when served at special occasions such as large parties and functions as its very easy to plan exactly how many to make, something more difficult with cakes.

Another great advantage of the cupcake is the sheer variety of flavours they offer, and the ability to offer multiple flavours at your function just by creating different varieties of cupcakes. You could go for vanilla cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes, lemony cupcakes or any combination of flavours. Cupcakes can even be made from healthy ingredients like applesauce, strawberries, bananas or shredded carrot.

Cupcakes need to be frosted before they’re complete and there are so many options available when it comes to frosting flavours. Some of the flavours you could use are Raspberry Butter Cream, Caramel Cream, Chocolate Ganache, Mint, Cream Cheese etc. Cupcakes can also have various toppings such as strawberry or chocolate sprinkles, coconut, miniature chocolate chips, nuts, pieces of fruit or even can be glazed.

When it comes to displaying cupcakes, a centrepiece stand is useful. This arrangement looks particularly spectacular when displayed in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. They can be tiered to produce that wow factor that your guests will definitely remember.

With all of the benefits that cupcakes offer, it’s no wonder they are becoming so popular. So if you haven’t used cupcakes before for your special occasion, perhaps its time to try out these magnificent treats for yourself.

You can find even more cupcake ideas and information from Strawberry Cupcakes.

Source by Jan P Stevens

5 Diet Myths Exposed: Start Losing Weight the Healthy Way!

This can be the year you finally drop those excess pounds, achieve a strong, streamlined body, and give your health a huge boost with a commitment to sensible eating.

But in order to reach your healthy weight and keep it there, you’ll have to sidestep a lot of diet minefields. So many nutritional myths and faddish ideas are out there, you could easily wind up sabotaging your weight loss efforts and compromising your health, without even knowing it.


58% of consumers are actively trying to lose weight to improve either their appearance, health or both, according to the Natural Marketing Institute’s Health & Wellness Trends Database.


REALITY: Most diets don’t work. Instead of following the latest fashionable weight loss program, you should develop healthy, fat-burning habits and make them part of your daily life.


Atkins, Zone, Ornish… How do they stack up? A recent study tracked the weight loss results of obese people who followed popular diet plans for one year. In order to achieve a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI), most subjects needed to lose 41.8 lbs. At the end of 12 months, those on the Atkins low-carb plan lost 10.4 lbs; Zone moderate-carb dieters lost 3.5 lbs; and Ornish low-fat dieters lost 4.9 lbs. With all three diets, most of the participants started out as clinically obese… and ended up as clinically obese, with only a very modest weight loss to show for their year-long dieting efforts. On all three diets, the subjects experienced most of their weight loss in the first two to six months, and then began regaining most of their lost pounds.


It’s easy to get discouraged about dieting when you keep trying the latest trends… and failing. The best way to achieve permanent weight loss is to incorporate reasonable, nutritious, and enjoyable changes into your life that you can stick with over time.


Consumers employed several lifestyle changes to help manage their weight in the past year.

• Smaller portions at mealtime

• Making slight lifestyle changes

• Regular and consistent exercise

• Eating smaller more frequent meals

• Making drastic lifestyle changes

• Working with dietitian/nutritionist


REALITY: Many “low-fat” foods are surprisingly high in sugar content – and calories. That’s because manufacturers often add sugar to compensate for the diminished flavor and texture that results from removing fat.


Secrets of Sneaky Sugar: A sugar by any other name is still sugar. Your “diet” food can contain added sugars in different guises you may not recognize. Here are some names to look for on the ingredient list: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, sucrose, syrup.

So what’s a conscientious dieter to do? As always, the battle of the bulge is ultimately won in the arena of calories. Carefully check food labels for total calorie content… even when they’re branded “diet” or “low-fat.”


The Great Cookie Caper: Let’s compare calories of a regular chocolate chip cookie and a reduced-fat chocolate chip cookie. The regular cookie has 3 fat grams and 49 calories; the reduced-fat cookie has 2 fat grams and 45 calories. A 4-calorie difference is not going to get you into that bikini by summer!

On the other hand, some low-fat choices can significantly slash your calorie intake. Don’t want to give up cheddar cheese? One ounce of regular cheddar cheese has 6 fat grams and 114 calories; the same-sized low-fat portion has 1.2 grams of fat and an impressively reduced 49 calories!


When the weight loss aim is to improve their health, consumers seem to eat a more balanced diet (e.g., less sugar, fewer carbs, etc.). In the past year, consumers limited their sugar, carbohydrate, and fat intake more often than they used diet food/products to help manage their weight.


REALITY: Yes, you do have to limit your calories to shed pounds, but there’s no need to starve. You can cleverly choose foods that fill you up, not out – and keep you satisfied and stoked with energy all day long. What’s your best bet for filling foods? Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Most Americans get only half of the recommended daily intake of 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber, putting them at risk for obesity and a host of serious health problems.


• 46% of consumers are choosing to eat fiber-rich foods as part of their weight management plan.10

• Consumers who eat fewer carbohydrates to lose weight also eat fiber-rich foods (66%) and participate in regular and consistent exercise (61%) to achieve their optimum weight.

Fiber comes in two types, each with its own starring role to play in protecting our health and promoting weight management. Soluble fibers dissolve in water, and are associated with regulating blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. Insoluble fibers or roughage can’t dissolve in water, but can absorb water. This causes them to swell, making them good bulking agents that improve gastrointestinal functions and speed up elimination. By eating sufficient amounts from both fiber types, you’ll enjoy their full range of health benefits. Soluble fibers: apples, citrus fruits, pears, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, squash, legumes, lentils, barley, oats, oat bran, oatmeal. Insoluble fibers: Cabbage, beets, Brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, whole wheat bread, wheat cereal, wheat bran, rye.


Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate more whole grains into your daily diet:

• Create a whole grain pilaf with a mixture of barley, wild rice, brown rice, broth, and spices. For a special touch, stir in toasted nuts or chopped dried fruit.

• Try rolled oats or a crushed, unsweetened whole grain cereal as breading for baked chicken, fish, veal cutlets or eggplant parmesan.

• Freeze leftover cooked brown rice, bulgur, or barley. Heat and serve it later as a quick side dish.


Decode the Food Label to Find Whole Grains

• Choose foods that name one of the following whole-grain ingredients first on the label’s ingredient list: brown rice, bulgur, graham flour, oatmeal, whole-grain corn, whole oats, whole rye, whole wheat, wild rice.

• Food labeled with the words “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not whole-grain products.

• Color is not an indication of whole grain. Bread can be brown because of molasses or other added ingredients. Read the ingredient list to see if it is a whole grain.


REALITY: Your body needs fat to function. Fat provides you with energy, allows you to absorb key vitamins, and helps build cell walls and membranes throughout the body. Don’t deprive yourself of health-giving, energy-producing fat.


41% of consumers employed a low-fat diet in the past year to manage their weight. And consumers were heavily invested in the use of reduced fat food/beverages.

The trick is to consume the right kind of fat – and in the right amounts. If you’re like most Americans, you may be getting far too much of omega-6 fatty acids… and not nearly enough of omega-3 fatty acids.

It’s easy to take in excess quantities of omega-6 fatty acids because the common vegetable oils in the American diet – such as corn, safflower and sunflowers oils – are packed with omega-6. So are meat, milk and eggs. Unfortunately, when you consume large quantities of omega-6, you not only gain weight, thanks to its high caloric content, you may also grow more susceptible to inflammation and thickening of the blood.

Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are hard to come by. The reason you’re probably not getting enough of these health-giving powerhouses is that many manufacturers remove them to keep products fresh. You can ramp up your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids by nibbling on soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed, and alfalfa, and by adding cold water fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines to your menu.


Here’s a handy guide for getting a healthy balance of fat in your daily diet: Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.


Sip green tea, lose weight? The Chinese have long appreciated green tea for its remarkable ability to promote digestion, improve mental faculties, and regulate body temperature. Now an intriguing new study in Japan suggests that green tea may also have a helpful role to play in losing weight. Over a 12-week period, one group of men drank a bottle of tea containing 690 mg of catechins (from green tea) every day, while the other group consumed tea containing only 22 mg of catechins. The results showed that the men drinking the tea with higher catechins had lower Body Mass Index (BMI), body weight and waist circumference compared to the other group. So the next time you pour a soothing cup of green tea, consider that each sip may be helping your body break down fat, along with all its other benefits.


REALITY: While you may be tempted to miss your morning meal to save on calories, studies show that skipping breakfast can sabotage your diet efforts. A recent study examined the role that breakfast intake plays on body mass index and studied the effect of different types of breakfasts. After adjustments for sex, age and race, the results showed that people who ate different types of cereal had a lower body mass index than those who ate meat and eggs or those who skipped breakfast.

And, for girls, here’s a fascinating look at the strong link between a healthy weight and breakfast: a recent analysis of government data on breakfast eating in teenagers (ages 12 to 16) showed that the thinnest girls are the most likely to eat breakfast. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the most overweight girls are the most likely to skip breakfast.

Of course, not all cereals are created equal. You won’t lose weight by heaping your bowl with sugary cereal, then drowning it in whole milk. Choose a low-calorie, high fiber cereal and limit your portion size to about 150 calories. Oatmeal is an excellent option for a satisfying, high-fiber jumpstart to your day. And try skipping the fruit juice, and eating the fruit instead.

By eating a healthy, filling breakfast, you’ll stay more in control of your appetite and be less prone to overeating later in the day.


Breakfast bonus: Eating small meals more frequently may help lower your cholesterol. British researchers recently found that people who ate more than six times a day had lower cholesterol (by about 5%) than those who ate once or twice daily. The key is to eat small, healthy meals every three or four hours.

Who Skips Breakfast? People who are losing weight to improve their appearance tend to skip meals more than those who are losing weight to improve their health.


Frequent Weight Loss May Affect Immune Function

You already know that going on fad diets can be frustrating, unhealthy and ineffective, because the weight you lose comes right back on, every time. Now there’s another reason to end the “yo-yo diet” syndrome – it may compromise your immune system. Investigators studied a group of healthy, overweight, post-menopausal women and discovered that the more often the women had lost 10 pounds or more, the greater the suppression of their immune systems.


1. Avoid fad diets and concentrate on making healthy lifestyle changes.

2. Check the labels of low-fat “diet” foods for sneakily added sugars and high-calorie content.

3. Stave off diet-destroying hunger pangs with filling high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

4. Add salmon, mackerel, sardines, and other cold water fish to your menu to

increase your intake of health-giving omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Every morning, eat a delicious, low-calorie, high-fiber breakfast such as

oatmeal with fresh fruit

Source by Bruce Brightman

Pasta Bella – Great Italian Food

Italian pasta recipes vary according to regional cuisine. Northern recipes, for instance, from the Piemonte, Calabria and Liguria regions feature readily available cheeses, cured hams and pancetta, a kind of smoked bacon. Most notable of these recipes is pasta carbonara.

Pasta Carbonara

This Italian pasta recipe requires, 3-4 strips of pancetta or bacon, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of cream and an aged grated cheese. Now, the variations to this Italian pasta recipe are enhanced by using a fresh pasta or spaghetti. Cook the pasta until desired doneness and drain. Meanwhile, saute pancetta for about 5 minutes or until crisp, if preferred. Crush one clove of garlic until flattened and rub inside of bowl for extra flavor. Whisk together, egg and cream. Place drained pasta into garlic-rubbed bowl. Pour egg and cream over pasta. Briefly toss to coat. Add pancetta and cheese. Toss to evenly coat pasta. Serve with curls of Parmesan or Romano cheese. For an extra flair, try a native cheese like Fontina. Garnish lightly with freshly ground pepper.

The Central Region

Toscana, Emilia Romagna, Umbria and Marche comprise the Central Italian region. Here, Italian pasta recipes are simple, yet elegant and always delightful to the palate. Parmiggiano Reggiano, olives, coppa and fish enhance the style of central regional Italian pasta dishes. Ingredients used here are from “Una cucina povera”, a poor man’s kitchen. In Tuscano, you will dine on eel, rabbit, beef and chicken accented by fennel, tarragon, sage, rosemary and chile pepper. One recipe with Puttanesca sauce is complex only in flavor.

For this, use 28 oz of peeled tomatoes, lightly blanched until the skin is easily removed. 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tins of anchovies, chopped finely, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1/2 cup of pitted olives (green, black or marinated as preferred), 2 tablespoons of drained capers, 1/2 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon each oregano and salt. 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley. Drain tomatoes and turn into a food processor until tomatoes are finely crushed.

In a small skillet, combine olive oil, garlic, oregano, anchovies, olives, capers, pepper flakes and salt. Saute 3 minutes until garlic is tender. Pour this over boiled and drained pasta. Toss with Italian parsley.

The Southern Region

The Southern region of Italy, Lazio, Abruzzo, Campania, Puglia, Molise and Basilicata offers a wide variety of robusto peasant cuisine. The ingredients likely include mozzarella, pecorino, goat cheese, lentils and peperoncini, along with swordfish , tuna, olives and citrus fruits.

One traditional Italian pasta recipe uses olive oil, lemon, basil, 1 clove crushed garlic and pine nuts. For the pasta, use orcchetti. Into a small bowl, squeeze the juice of one lemon. Set rind of lemon aside. Chop 1/2 cup fresh basil. Rub bowl with garlic clove. Chop remainder of clove finely. Place drained orcchetti in bowl. Toss with basil, chopped garlic and olive oil until pasta is well coated. Add lemon juice and pine nuts. Blend well. Using reserved lemon rind, grate finely and add to pasta coating lightly.

Source by Wendy Pan

Nightwear for a Good Night’s Sleep

One of the biggest changes in the fashion industry in the past few decades has been in the realm of lingerie and sleepwear.

With the changes in the perception of the woman’s body as an object to be lusted over to a creation that should be celebrated, there have been many changes in the nightwear design from the simple satin robes of the previous decades to the modern styles.

Again, there has been a change from the styles of nightwear that are deemed to be more “feminine” to incorporate a few styles that are perceived to be more suited to men.

Some of the most common types of nightwear that are found in the industry are babydolls, nightwear sets, sleep shorts and camisoles.

These forms are not only designed for the basic comfort of women while sleeping, but also to provide a more positive feeling of self image by accentuating their sensuality.

Nightwear sets

One of the most commonly purchased items for nightwear are nightwear sets. These are generally a pack of a top shirt or tee that is paired with three quarter, full length or even short length pyjamas. Inspired by masculine forms of clothing, nightwear sets are generally made from cotton or in some cases, satin. These come in a variety of colours and designs, with fun prints that are generally termed “girly”. Get back in touch with your teenage with nightwear sets with cute and fun prints. These are also some of the ideal outfits if you are planning on having a girls’ night out with your ladies.


Camisoles are slips that can be worn both as an inner garment and as a piece of nightwear. These camisoles are strappy and can be worn as a top. Resembling a spaghetti top, camisoles are of solid colours.

Sleep Shorts

Sleep shorts are made from viscose and are designed to allow women comfort while sleeping.


Babydolls are a type of nightwear that is designed to accentuate the femininity of women. Babydolls are generally short length nightgowns and are made from sensuous fabrics like satin, mesh and chiffon. Babydolls can make you look extremely appealing and are generally used to entice the lover. Babydolls are also some of the best nightwear types available due to their softness that allows a peaceful sleep.

From sensuous to cute, nightwear can be a celebration of the different moods that you are in everyday. Gone are the days where nightwear is simply practical and dull and dreary. In the modern times, you can experiment with different cuts and prints. For you should not just dress up for the world to see, but also to feel good, and when you look good, the boost of confidence that you receive is enough to let you have a very good night.

Source by Ada Rai

Beef Recipes: 3 Dishes That Meat Lovers Will Go Crazy About

Beef is one of the most widely used meats around the world. Like chicken and pork, it is used in millions of recipes from different cuisines. It is flexible and easy to prepare. Those that are big fans of steak or burgers would say that beef is the heaviest type of meat, the most satisfying when it comes to appetite. Compared to chicken and fish, beef contains a higher amount of iron.

Here are mouth-watering beef recipes you can try at home:

Melt-In-Your Mouth Butter Beef

What you need:

  • 1 1/4 kilograms cubed beef stew meat
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 small pack dry onion soup mix

Mix together beef stew meat and butter in a slow cooker. Sprinkle onion soup mix over the beef. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours, stirring once. Best served with toasted wheat bread or over cooked egg noodles.

Baked Cheesy Beef Ravioli

What you need:

  • 1/2 kilogram ground beef
  • 1/4 kilogram frozen cheese ravioli
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Drain the grease before stirring in tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. Pour about 1/3 of the ground beef mixture into a 11×7-inch baking dish then top with half of the frozen cheese ravioli. Sprinkle with half of the Monterey Jack cheese followed by half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers, ending with the last of the ground beef mixture. Cover with heavy duty aluminium foil and bake in a pre-heated oven (450F) for 30 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top before serving.

Soy-Butter Beef Tenderloin

What you need:

  • 1 1/4 kilogram beef tenderloin roast
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup butter

Place the beef tenderloin roast in a shallow baking dish. Brush with butter then pour soy sauce all over the beef. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350F) for 10 minutes before turning the roast over. Continue baking for another 30 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally, until cooked through or to desired doneness. When ready, allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Best served with mashed potatoes.

If you’re in the mood for a delicious, juicy meat dish, these recipes will not fail you – these are surefire winners in everyone’s books!

Source by Adrian T. Cheng