Give Yourself a Present – Live in the Present

In the Disney movie, “The Lion King”, Simba is whining to Rafiki claiming he is a victim of things gone wrong in his life. Rafiki counsels Simba to not focus on the pain of the past because it cannot be changed. “It doesn’t matta, eets in dee pahst”, is Rafiki’s advice. Simba listens to his advice and runs off the make amends in the present moment.

The Past Can Hurt

As human beings we have the amazing ability to think about past, present and future. From early man until now, this skill has helped us survive. If primitive man saw a tiger, his experience in the past could help him determine the striped animal was a threat. Thinking of the future, he would foresee an escape plan. And in the immediate here and now moment, his brain would activate and he would run. This process ensured his survival.

In modern times our brain can be over active in perceiving threats in the past or present. Our thoughts get caught up in a lot of drama that only exists in our heads. In this process, we find ourselves dwelling over past situations or predicting catastrophes in the future. We worry about tigers that may eat our family or tigers that may be lurking around every corner even when there are no signs of tigers. Or we endlessly ruminate over bad decisions in the past about our last encounter with a tiger.

Our thoughts play on an endless loop of negative emotion creating anxiety or depression. We can’t run. We can’t act. Depression and anxiety immobilize us. So how do we get off this negative self-perpetuated track? Recent research in the mental health field supports the practice of mindfulness as a tool.

Mindfulness is an Eastern religious tradition used recently in the West as a practice to slow your brain down, unwind your emotions and focus on the present moment. Lao Tzu, a philosopher of ancient China said, “If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future, if you are at peace you are living in the present.”

Mindfulness takes practice and patience. It is helpful to be non critical about yourself as you practice the new skill. Mindfulness is about being observant and non judgmental. It is normal for your mind to wander. When you find yourself wandering, gently bring your attention back to what you wish to focus on.

Ways to practice Mindfulness:

Music: Rock out listening to your favorite hard rock band or get caught up in the majesty of Beethoven 9th Symphony.

Scents: Light scented candles, wear an exotic perfume or bake aromatic chocolate chip cookies. Smells have a power ability to trigger emotions and thoughts taking us out of the doldrums.

Body sensations such as exercise, and breathing and meditation.

Object focusing: focus on one object exclusively. Look at the size, texture, scent, and color of the objects appearance. If possible, taste the object. Imagine other useful ways to use the object. Try to keep your mind focused on the object for at least 5 minutes.

Scarlett O’ Hara doesn’t always give sage wisdom but I love the part in “Gone With The Wind” where she says, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

There are advantages in staying in the present moment and not thinking about tomorrow’s problems. Like Simba if we get ruminate over the mistakes of the past, we become depressed. If we are stuck forecasting the future, we become anxious. Practice living in the moment for that is where happiness and peace are found.

Source by Camille Anderson

If I Omit My Extra Nutrisystem Meals, Can I Double Up On The Dinner?

I sometimes hear from people who want a little more flexibility with their Nutrisystem meals. A common comment would be something like: “sometimes I have a really hard day at my job and I come home and am particularly hungry that night. What if I wanted to eat two of the Nutrisystem dinners? Could I just load up on the larger meals and then skip the dessert and snack for that day? I’d rather have something more substantial. Is this possible?”

Before I attempt to answer, please know that I’m not an expert. It’s very easy to contact Nutrisystem and ask someone from the company about this topic. But here is my take. While I’m not sure that you would want to make a huge habit out of this because eating two dinners is going to take in more calories than two snacks or desserts, I don’t think it needs to be a huge deal on a particularly difficult day. And in my view, it’s certainly much better than cheating with a non diet dinner. I think that it makes sense to make small tweaks that allow you to stay on the diet from time to time instead of just going off of it and eating whatever you want.

But to take it a step further, let’s look at an actual example. Let’s say that on this particular day, this person chose to eat the flatbread pizza (at 270 calories) and the macaroni and cheese with beef (at 240 calories.) And let’s say that she skipped her pretzel snack and her ice cream sandwich dessert on that day. That would have saved 100 and 130 calories respectively, for a total calorie savings of 230. So, in actuality, you are only taking in ten additional calories by eating two dinners and skipping the dessert and snack. That certainly is not too awful. And it’s much better than just opening up your pantry and eating something else without worrying about the calorie or carbohydrate content.

But, another consideration that you may not have considered is that if you eat two dinners one night, you are going to be one short at another point in the month. So you will be on your own for that evening and you are more likely to cheat or take in far more calories. Sure, you could always eat that snack and dessert that you didn’t eat when you doubled up on dinner, but that’s certainly not a proper dinner. Not only that, but if you are going to do this, you would need to plan ahead and make a conscious effort to pass up your snack earlier in the day. So doing this definitely takes some prior planning and it will definitely require that you make adjustments later in the month. But I still think that it is better than the alternative of just eating something out of your kitchen. Because you are still eating a diet meal that is going to be low in calories and carbohydrates.

Source by Ava Alderman

How To Lose Weight During The Holidays

Holidays and special events are full of great things to eat, but those great things to eat sometimes aren’t the same things that help you lose or maintain weight. It’s that age old question for all weight conscious people. How am I going to get through this next holiday without gaining weight?

Take a breath, and I don’t mean so you can get your belly into the waist of your pants! You can get through the next big day without putting on those extra pounds if you just make some easy but sensible decisions before the next big day arrives.

1.) On those holidays where candy is a major focus of the day, buy or make your own stash of sugar free candy in advance. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy the day as everyone else without feeling deprived. Be careful not to eat too much sugar free candy at one time though. Some sugar free ingredients can cause gas, bloating, or diarrhea when eaten in excess. (I look at that as a natural reminder to eat everything in moderation.)

2.) When you are invited to someone’s house for a holiday meal, offer to bring a dessert to help your hostess out or at least to have in addition to the dessert your hostess is planning. There are so many simply wonderful low carb, sugar free, or natural fruit dessert recipes around that it is easy to find a dessert you can take that will be tasty to everyone while making sure you have something special but workable in your own diet.

3.) Be proactive in your holiday party and dinner planning. Instead of hoping some good cook (who makes really good but really fattening meals, scalloped potatoes, and chocolate chip pie) invites you to their house, invite them to yours! There are healthy and low carb versions of virtually all traditional holiday foods. It’s easy to plan an entire special meal that will help you maintain and even lose weight.

4.) If you don’t normally keep a diary of everything you eat, starting a food diary a week or so before a prolonged holiday period could help you get through the time with amazing success. Even if you only commit to keeping a food diary until a time shortly after the holiday, (set a stop date in advance) having that tool can give you motivation and determination during those hard days. No one likes to tell their dairy they ate an entire pineapple upside down cake.

5.) Deal with the stresses of the special day or special event BEFORE they arise. Start walking regularly before you get into stressful days. Take daily vitamin and mineral supplements to keep your body running more efficiently even though you’re running around all over the place. Be committed to allowing any sense of humor you have to come out at the most stressful of times.

Getting through a holiday or special event is not going to be a piece of cake. (No pun intended.) However, if you are realistic about the hard choices but forgiving of the bad choices, you can head off any larger possible bad effects of the big day.

Source by Chris Stevens

Pineapple Rice Pudding

Everyone has an aunt or grandmother who makes the world’s greatest rice pudding. It’s a simple dessert with simple ingredients; milk, sugar, rice, cinnamon, and vanilla, with or without raisins, the debate rages on. It’s always served at Thanksgiving in my family. There’s something about the warmth of the cinnamon that makes it perfect for that time of year. It ignites the senses, kindling warm memories of Christmas cookies and evenings spent gathered around a fire.

This recipe brings the creamy taste of rice pudding into the summer. The coconut gives the pudding a lighter texture and exotic flavor. The pineapple adds the perfect amount of tropical sweetness. This dessert is to be eaten poolside whilst working on your tan and sipping iced tea. Play Calypso music and make use of tiny paper umbrellas for maximum enjoyment. The cinnamon and vanilla won’t even be missed.

Pineapple and Coconut Rice Pudding

Serves 6 People

4 cups cold water

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup long grain rice

2 cups whole milk

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup sugar

8 oz can crushed pineapple in natural juice

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil; add salt and stir in rice with a fork. Cover and simmer on extra low heat. Stir occasionally until rice is very tender, about 35 minutes

Add whole milk, coconut milk, pineapple, and sugar, simmer uncovered. Stir often until most of the milk is absorbed into the rice, about 20 minutes.

Remove the rice pudding from heat and stir.

The pineapple coconut pudding can be served warm or cold.

Source by Katherine Montalto

Diabetes Diet, What Are The 10 Best Fruits And Vegetables For Diabetic Patients

This is the question my diabetic patients always ask. Hopefully this article will enhance your knowledge about diet for a diabetic patient.


If you are a diabetic patient try to avoid following list of foods.

1-Sugar, artificial sweeteners and honey. However you may take sweetener like stevia. It is difficult to omit sugar from your diet at-once, I will recommend you to decrease sugar in your diet gradually.

2-You should stop taking sweets and chocolates. If you are in a party and want to take chocolate, then preferably try to take Continental dark chocolate with at-least 70% or more cocoa solids, and try to avoid chocolates where sugar is the first named ingredient

3-Try to avoid foods containing ingredients end in (ol) or (ose) as these are mainly different forms of carbohydrates like fructose, glucose, dextrose.

4-Avoid grains like cakes, biscuits, pies, tarts, breakfast cereals, wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, bread, pasta, pastry,

5-Avoid vegetables which contain larger amount of starch and carbohydrates like potatoes,carrots, peas, beans, parsnips, beet.

6-Also avoid fruits like watermelon, mangoes, banana, Chikoos(Pakistani), jackfruit, grapes, Strawberry, Sugarcane.

7-You may take milk but in small quantity. Avoid fat yogurts and cheese. Also be careful not to drink too much coffee or tea and add only as much sugar as in needed for taste.

8-Avoid commercially packaged foods like TV dinners, “lean” or “light” in particular, and snack foods, fast foods.

9-Avoid fresh fruit juices as these are highly concentrated carbohydrates. If you like fruit juices you may dilute one part of juice with 3 or 4 parts of water.

10-Always avoid saturated fats like fatty meat, full fat dairy products, butter, lard. Try to prefer unsaturated fats like olive oil, corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, soy oil. Avoid cottage cheese as it has a high carbohydrate content and very little fat

You must be thinking that I have mentioned here all the stuff, and nothing is left to eat, these are foods you can eat:

1-You may take fruits like apple, Grapefruit, Lime, Peaches. You must divide your fruit and vegetable diet in five portions through all the day, by Spreading the fruit you eat through the day helps to avoid a sudden rise in blood sugar levels.

2-You must take high fibre diet. Fibrous diet is Cereals, Fruits, Nuts, Pulses, Seeds, Vegetables. Fibrous diet not only lowers your glucose level but also decreases blood cholesterol.

3-Always try to take whole grain rather than processed food and take things like whole-wheat spaghetti and brown rather than white rice(Indian Pakistani). Pakistani and Indian people do like white rice very much, but if you are diabetic, please avoid these.

4-You may take meat of lamb, beef once or twice a week. Organ meats can also be taken like liver kidneys and heart to meat your vitamin needs.

5-Try to take white meat like poultry chicken fish meat duck etc.

6-You may take Fish and seafood of all types. It is recommended to boil, steam, bake or grill fish rather than frying it.

7-Always prefer non-fatty dairy products such as “skimmed milk”, non-fat cheese and yogurt.

8-You may take eggs as well but try to take whitish part not the yellow one as it may increase your cholesterol level.

9-All cheeses can be taken except cottage cheese.

10-You may take all vegetables, onion and garlic are known for decreasing blood glucose level.

Generally Type 2 diabetic patients need 1500-1800 calorie diet per day to promote weight loss, however calories requirement may vary depending upon patients age, sex, activity level and body weight. 50% of total daily required calories should come from carbohydrates.One gram of carbohydrate is about 4 calories. A diabetic patient on a 1600 calorie diet should get 50% of these calories from carbohydrate. In other words it will be equal to 800 Calories from Carbohydrates, it means you have to take 200gms of carbohydrates everyday.It is better that you buy food tables with calories measurements to know more about your daily required food.

Source by Armughan Riaz

5 Cooking Methods Common To African Cuisine

Which methods of food preparation are commonly used in Africa? Here is an introduction to a few cooking methods common in African cuisine:

1. Roasting

Roasting refers to cooking food over an open fire, without water. The fire may be an open wood fireplace or a hearth, or a charcoal burner. Foods that are often roasted in Africa include meat, fish, tubers such as sweet potatoes, arrow roots, Irish potatoes and cassava, as well as some types of banana.

2. Boiling

Boiling refers to cooking food with water, without oil. Frequently, an earthen ware cooking pot may be used. Cooking utensils made of metal or other materials are also gaining in popularity.

Foods that are boiled include vegetables, pulses such as peas and beans, tubers such as potatoes and cassava, and grains such as rice. In northern Uganda, odii – groundnut paste, is added to the boiled dish as a sauce.

3. Steaming

In southern Uganda, steaming is an important method of food preparation. Cooking bananas – matoke – are steamed inside banana leaves, over a pot full of boiling water. Fish, meat and vegetables are also wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

Steaming is a recommended cooking method because it is said to better preserve the nutritive value of foods.

4. Immigrant populations to Africa have brought with them their own ways of preparing food, such as frying food. Frying food was traditionally uncommon to African cuisine, but has now been adopted by almost everyone. Frying refers to cooking food with cooking oil, as well as the possible addition of onions and tomatoes.

It is now common to fry all types of foodstuffs: meat, fish, pulses, vegetables and pastries.

5. Baking

While baking is slowly making inroads into African cuisine, it is still very much a new cooking method, not yet very widespread except in bakeries. Baking is certainly not yet as widespread as in western societies, where not just bread and cakes are baked, but also pies, pastries, melted cheese dishes and other foods.

The food preparation methods in Africa demonstrate the changing face of African cuisine, with adopted cooking methods such as frying now playing a major role in African cooking.

Traditional methods of food preparation such as boiling and steaming were fat-free, and therefore also a lot healthier.

They will continue to play a vital role because many foodstuffs found on the continent are best prepared in this way. For example, dried foodstuffs almost always have to be boiled first.

However, new cooking methods also open up a wider variety of taste and cooking experiences.

Source by Lamaro Schoenleber, Ph.d

Hidden Stimulating Foods in Your Diet: Tyramine Reactions

Have you ever experienced intrusive insomnia even though you were really tired, or an overall anxiety when nothing is actually upsetting you? Even after you cut out coffee, stopped smoking and cut down on sugar and alcohol, these symptoms still persisted. You might not be aware of the fact that there are certain foods you may be eating that contain a mild stimulant called Tyramine and when eating larger amounts of these foods, you could be experiencing insomnia, rapid heartbeat (palpitations), an increase in blood pressure and mild to migraine headaches. This is all due to the hidden substance called Tyramine, found in a variety of foods you may eat on a daily basis.

Foods affect your mood and if you are experiencing sensations of anxiety and brain fog, it’s important to be aware of hidden stimulating substances in every day foods.

Everyone is pretty much aware of the reactions created by caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. One knows to avoid these foods if they experience anxiety since they only exacerbate symptoms. Not many are aware of the fact that this other hidden stimulant (Tyramine), found in many foods, may be eaten on a daily basis. Knowledge is power and by becoming aware of the foods that contain this substance, you allow yourself the choice of recognizing and avoiding them.

These foods containing Tyramine, a mild stimulant, are important to recognize. If you eat enough of these foods, you might be experiencing:

– insomnia,

– a rise in blood pressure

– an increase in heart rate (palpitations)

– headaches/migraines

– other mind-body sensations associated with taking a stimulant

These foods release adrenaline into your system and are easy to recognize once you understand that they come under the heading of a food that is aged, pickled, fermented or smoked.

Examples of these foods are as follows:

Hard Cheeses- Swiss, Cheddar, Asiago, Romano. Exceptions are creamed cheese, cottage cheese, farmers cheese and ricotta.

Aged, Smoked and Marinated Meats- Lunch meats, bacon hot dogs, baked ham, smoked meats and fishes, pickled herring, hard salami, pepperoni, bologna.

Legumes and Nuts- All beans, snow pea pods, Italian beans.

Pickled Vegetables- Sauerkraut, pickles, olives, artichokes

Fermented Items- Soy sauce, Tofu, Miso, Tempeh

Condiments- Yeast, meat tenderizers, boullion cubes, dry soup mixes, dry gravy mixes.

Yeast- In sourdough bread but fine in leavened breads.

Beverages- All alcohol containing beverages, especially Chianti and Vermouth. Small amounts in beer. High in red wine.

Overripe and Dried Fruits, especially overripe bananas. figs, raisins



It is best to avoid these foods in high amounts. You might not experience a reaction in lower quantities but if you do experience headaches, migraines, rapid heartbeat (palpitations), and an increase in blood pressure, it might be time to check out your diet and see if it contains foods that are high in this substance.

By making a few simple changes, you will improve the way you feel and actually cut out many intrusive body reactions.

Source by Dr. R.E. Freedman

Food Time Table For Two-Year Old Baby

Two years is an important milestone when it comes to you little one’s eating habits and the food they consume. At the age of two years, your baby needs a lot of nutrients in his body and milk is not enough to cater to the needs of their growing bodies. So, while it is important to always feed them healthy baby food, baby food for 2 years old is an especially critical topic. In fact, at this age, your child outgrows food and should be eating three major meals a day along with one or two snacks.

They can eat everything that you are eating, but obviously their food shouldn’t be as spicy, if at all. It is important to prepare food for 2 years old and follow a set time table for your toddler. To help ease the process of putting one together, you can refer to the following pointers for a 2 years baby food time table. But remember to also follow your baby’s cues and adapt their good according to their tastes and preferences.

Perfect food for 2 years old early in the morning:

1 cup milk

2-3 almonds soaked in water

For breakfast, they can eat:

1 small parantha + ½ cup curd

2 idlis with 1 bowl sambhar

1 slice brown bread + cucumber /tomato sandwich


1 cup vegetable poha

1 cup upma

1 ragi dosa/chila

Hungry again? Give them some late morning snacks:

1 fruit, diced

1 cup vegetable soup

Time for Lunch? Here are the 2 years baby healthy food options:

2 tsp of seasonal healthy vegetable with 1 roti or ½ cup rice and ½ cup dal

½ cup baked vegetables like carrots, beans, and/or potato

½ cup rice with kadhi/rajma/chana

½ cup khichdi with seasonal vegetables

Evening snacks that can double up as baby food for 2 years old:

½ cup milk with chocolate/banana muffin

1 cup fruit smoothie

1 pc paneer/vegetable cutlet

½ cup fruit chaat

Cornflakes with ½ cup milk

½ cup fruit yoghurt

Dinner options for 2 years baby healthy food:

1 roti + ½ cup seasonal vegetable

1 cup vegetable pulao

1 vegetable parantha with chutney

1 small parantha with paneer curry

½ cup rice with soya granules

The food items listed above are all healthy food options for two-year-olds that are also easily digested. However, these are only a few examples of baby food for 2 years old and you can always experiment with what your child likes. So, mix and match these options to create your own 2 years baby food time table.

Parents should also keep the following pointers in mind while putting together the 2 years baby food time table:

1. Offer lots of water to your baby

2. Avoid offering sugary and aerated drinks and fast foods

3. Do give at least two servings of green vegetables

4. Get them in the habit of eating fruits

5. Use honey as a sweetener whenever you can

6. Eat healthy yourself since your children learn by watching you

7. Make desserts an occasional affair

Source by Divya Tandon

All You Need to Know About Cakes

It is a known fact that all the best cakes in the world also qualify to be as the best desserts in the world. There is no one on this planet who doesn’t have a liking for a hot and a delicious cake. It doesn’t matter what side you are on in the debate of cake vs pie, but you will obviously admit that any good slice of cake can be one of the most finest of pleasures in your life. The list and choice related to cakes is so huge that there always arises a confusion as to which cake to choose. Is it the classic chocolate cake or the colorful strawberry cake? All these can prove to be very difficult decisions that we take in our life.

The different types of cakes

As mentioned above, there are so many cakes for you to choose from. These include chocolate cakes, cheesecakes, ice cream cakes, carrot cake, and molten chocolate cake. This list combines to make a very delicious list and a one that can never be avoided no matter what. There are so many bakeries and kuchen making places these days and this has caused a lot of furor as far as the different types of cakes is concerned.

– Avocado cake – This is a cake that is prepared by using Avocado.

– Aranygaluska – This is a cake that contains a vanilla custard and also yeasty dough.

– Basbousa – This is a traditional sweet kuchen that contains Somali and it is made by using cooked farina and Semolina in a simple type of syrup. Coconut is also a very popular and a common addition in this type of kuchen. On an optional basis, this syrup can also contain rose water and orange flower water.

– The beer cake- This is a kuchen that is prepared with beer as beer is used as the main ingredient.

– A common birthday cake – This is obviously the usual birthday cake that is made for birthdays. It contains sponge and chocolate all the time as these are extremely common ingredients. This type of kuchen can also represent the age of the person of whom the day is being celebrated for.

– Cassata – Everyone knows about cassata because it can be purchased in almost all countries. It is a very tasty cake and there is no need to avoid such a cake. Cassata is extremely popular across the world. It is one of the important varieties of cakes.

Source by Shilpi Gupta

Great Convection Oven Recipes – Classic Cream Puffs

If you want good pastry made right, here is a great convection oven recipe. If you want, the cream puffs can be prepared up to 12 hours before the filling. You can just freeze them to store longer, just make sure that they are wrapped airtight. To cook the puffs in this recipe, just place them thawed on a baking sheet. Make sure they’re placed slightly apart and bake for 5-8 minutes on a 400 degree oven.

This recipe serves 10 people

Ingredients for this convection oven recipe are:

Cream Puff Dough

Filling (you can choose any of these fillings):

Ice cream

Choco-Orange cream

Whipped cream, lightly sweetened and flavoured

Chocolate flavoured ice cream to be put as a topping (optional)

Confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Preparation of this convection oven recipe:

1. Use a spoon to separate the cream puff dough into 10 mounds. The portions have to be equal at about 1/4 cup. Place these on a baking sheet and make sure they’re at least two inches apart.

2. You then have to bake the puffs in a convection oven set at about 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown. If you are cooking multiple sheets at the same time in a single oven, you should make sure to change their positions halfway through baking. Use a wooden skewer to poke holes into each puff and then continue baking them until they’re golden brown. After that, cool the puffs in a rack.

3. Slice off the top of each puff and add about 1/2 cup of your preferred filling. Replace the tops you cut off and then you can put in the toppings you want. This convection oven recipe is very easy to make and you could try experimenting with different fillings.

Source by Roger Mitchell