Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apples, Apples, Apples! Fall Has Come Alive!

Its that time of year when the crunching of fresh, crisp fall fruits are hitting the shelves. There are so many options that the stores are packing apples in for the season. Why the apple? The benefits of apples are astounding!When I make apple pie I like to mix things up. If a little more tart is desired I suggest Granny Smith Apples. Since I am not a super tart enthusiast I mix Granny Smith's with other apples. When I do this, there is no need to add any lemon juice to the fruit. 

Granny Smith apples have a firm, crunchy texture with green skin, sometimes with a slight pink blush. Their tart flavor makes them good eating apples, and they are especially popular for use in apple pies.I couple these with Rome Apples. 

Rome apples are quite large, a deep red, and are known for their long storage capability. Just picked, Rome's flavor is semi-tart, but is enhanced when cooked or sauteed, which makes Rome a good candidate for cooking and baking. The pale, firm flesh makes this apple a favorite, whether eaten fresh or baked in a pie! 

Bon appetit for the fall festivals! Bob for apples, dip them in caramel (not too much), or dip them in peanut butter (my personal favorite) and enjoy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Amazing Health Benefits of Nuts!

Despite their status as a longstanding staple, many still hesitate before munching on nuts, due to their high calorie and fat content. Although nuts do pack in the fat and calories, ranging from 10 to 22 grams of fat and 150 to 180 calories per ounce, a little goes a very long way. Fortunately, the fats found in nuts are primarily unsaturated fatty acids (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), which have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and reduce low-density lipoproteins. The benefit of these fats led to an 2003 FDA-approved health claim for seven different nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and some pine nuts): Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 oz. per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.” In addition to their heart-healthy fat content, nuts are great sources of several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Epidemiological studies are uncovering the levels of dietary antioxidants in nuts may decrease the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. Almonds and peanuts are considered excellent sources of vitamin E, the most-important lipid-soluble antioxidant found in our cells. The antioxidant function of vitamin E suggests that it protects against, and possibly treats, conditions related to oxidative stress such as aging, arthritis, cataracts, diabetes and infections.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weight Loss And Good Health Can Be As Simple As An Apple A Day But Explore More!

Losing weight is not easy but there are some helpers which make it tolerable. Open up the door to fruit! As part of the minimum daily requirement for health fruit and vegetables are our friends. Fresh, in season is best. Imagine my excitement to find this helpful information from the Best Fruit Now website. You can go there and check each month about the best and not so best fruits to buy. 

Here is what they are saying about March:

"March 2010 – Well February was certainly an interesting month in terms of weather. Extreme cold down in Florida, rains and cold in Mexico and California then the Mother of all quakes in Chile, all this has kept this fruit buyer on his toes! Suggestions for March include the fantastic Bartlett pear, unaffected by weather these golden treats are great NOW! Also suggested are Golden Pineapples, California Navels, and Mandarins all are running great quality and prices are down. Go out and buy Blueberries NOW as prices will be doubling shortly due to the Chilean Earthquake. For a specialty pick, consider the Maradol Papaya."

I would like to encourage you to take a look at this website and view this labor of love these nice people have accomplished.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Grilled Fish Tacos - Lo Cal Version - Worth Every Bite

Fish tacos are something that I had never heard of until my sister in law told me about them. I tried them at a local Mexican restaurant and they are really good. I found this recipe of the lean version of fish tacos. Thought I would share.

Grilled Fish Tacos
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon blackening or Cajun seasoning
3/4 pound firm white fish fillets (such as red snapper, halibut or striped bass)
4 fat-free flour tortillas
2 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Optional toppings: fresh lime wedges, diced tomato, finely shredded red cabbage, sliced green onion, chopped fresh jalapeno, salsa

Freshly frozen, farm-raised fish is often a very economical option for those of us who don’t live with a seaport nearby. Check with your market’s fish department to find the best prices and quality.

1. Prepare and preheat grill.

2. Combine sour cream, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Sprinkle seasoning over fish. Cook fish on grill over medium-high heat just until opaque in center (about 2 to 5 minutes per side depending on thickness of fillets.) Transfer fish to bowl and flake into bite-size pieces with fork.

4. Place tortillas on grill and cook until lightly charred on both sides, about 20 seconds per side.

5. Divide fish among tortillas; top evenly with sour cream mixture and cheese. Serve with toppings, as desired.

Note: To prepare fish in the oven, place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

Make it a Meal:
Serve with an avocado, mango and Bibb lettuce salad tossed in a light poppy seed dressing

Nutrition Analysis
Calories 370, Total Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 3g, Sodium 580mg, Carbohydrates 32g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 31g, Calcium 200mg

Source: Cabot Cheese

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Little Things That Help A Lot With Weight Loss and Control

Awhile back there was a weight loss program which we tried. They had these wonderful light bars for weight loss and blood sugar control. The center went out of business with storefronts but still offer an online program. We ordered the light bars to help with the transition from a place called Diet Direct. The bars they offer are similar to the ones used at the center. The savings is significant, especially with percentages off promos. You can Check Out Diet Direct and see what they have to offer. Hope it helps. We all need all the help we can get in order to lose weight.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Raspberry Bars With Jiffy Raspberry Muffin Mix

Raspberry Bars

(6-9 Bars)

  • 1 pkg. "JIFFY" Raspberry Muffin Mix
  • 5 Tbsp. margarine or butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam or preserves (filling)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8" square pan.
Combine first four ingredients. Mix with fork until crumbly. Set aside 1/4 cup crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture on bottom of prepared pan. Spread filling on top of mixture to within 1/2" from edge of pan. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over filling. Bake 24-28minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and cut.

I tried this recipe and was quite impressed. I used the all fruit style raspberry jam to keep it healthy. Also added more oats for the fiber. Very economical dessert and very delicious when served warm with lite ice cream or frozen yogurt, if can afford calories try frozen custard.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Eating Healthy With Soup Makes for A Warm Heart and Hearth

As we move into another wintry weekend it is good to continue to keep the home warm and healthy. Cleaning is best when stepped up to super disinfecting everything. With cold and flu germs spreading rapidly, at least our home can be set up as a barrier. And if already invaded we can still prevent recurring episodes. Keeping a disinfectant in the bathroom is a must.

While the cleaning is happening it is a good time to get out the crock pot. Just this week I made my friend Linda's Crock Pot Potato Soup and it was a hit. It was easy to prepare and I did not have to constantly tend the crock pot. It is chock full of healthy ingredients, fortifying our never ending need for iron and all other good vitamins and minerals. 

As I was looking over my bookmarks in Google I found this one for Healthy Eating Made Easy I think it came from my friend Wendy's blog Gluten Free Greenie. Whether or not you eat gluten-free this blog has great reviews for products personally tested by Wendy. She also shares healthy recipes. 

This would not be complete without a mention of my sister's recipes pulled from the archives of her hearth. She makes the most wonderful soups and keeps me well stocked with her own cheese soup. She also makes these "Buckets of Love" soups for people who are sick or needing help with feeding extra guests. 

This cookbook Enlightened Soups comes with rave reviews. Putting on my wish list. ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rosemary Bread Goes Well With Crock Pot Potato Soup MMM Good

I made this delicious Crock Pot Potato Soup (click here) from my friend Linda's recipes and it came out really well. We sprinkled cheddar cheese on top. I used rosemary and garlic instead of dill and parsley. Thanks Linda! 

To go with the soup my daughter made a delicious rosemary bread. It was her first yeast bread recipe. It wasn't heavy on fat and very hearty with the soup. I would add some sunflower nuts in the future. Click here for the recipe for Rosemary Bread. We used pretty good restraint on eating too much. It wasn't easy as this meal was very tasty.

I am contemplating trying Mama Leone's Rosemary Basil Bread mix. Will let you know if I do.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Firsts...Chicken Chili - Soup Good for The Soul and Easy on the Tummy

Chicken Chili  I posted my first recipe to SparkPeople. It is a wonderful resource website which is truly free! It was started in 2001 and here is a little SparkPeople History. I have been a member for a long time and it is a great support and very informative site. There are SparkPeople teams for everybody. I am a regular visitor and occasional commenter. I read a lot. So thought I would share that I made a big step by posting my own recipe. Hope you enjoy it! It is healthy and of course Soup is Good for The Soul!

Chicken Chili

  • Ingredients

    2 Chicken breasts, diced with bone and skin removed - or - canned, diced chicken  

    4 Cups Swanson, Natural Goodness Chicken Broth 1 Cup Chopped, sweet onion or dried onion flakes to equal

    1 15 oz. Can Pregresso Cannellini (white kidney) beans  

    1 16 oz. Can Bush Garbanzo or Chick peas  

    1 10 oz. Can Mild Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilis  

    2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin  

    2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder 

Put all ingredients in crock pot and cook for three hours.

Makes about 8 servings

Great with a little grated cheddar and jack cheese and tortilla chips.

This is a lightly spiced soup which can be enhanced to tastes.

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 243.8
  • Total Fat: 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 34.2 mg
  • Sodium: 924.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 32.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8.6 g
  • Protein: 25.5 g 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Type II Diabetes - Arm Yourself for The Battle and Go for The Win

Winning a war which has been around for centuries seems pretty overwhelming. This is how many of us who have been diagnosed with diabetes feel. Overwhelmed. If you let it overwhelm you, it is going to happen. For me, that is how I have felt ever since I was diagnosed about two years ago. Fortunately, I have not felt overwhelmed as much on the forefront, mostly in the underlying current.

Underlying currents are deep and can pull you down. When we see others who have been pulled down and suffered greatly, this takes a toll on our nerves. I know that whenever I get a burning, sore right foot I am fearful of amputation. Then there is the number game with blood sugar readings going up and down. Sometimes it feels like you are playing one of those mole whacking games in an arcade. Only thing is...this arcade is our life.

So what are choices? Play mole whacker? Give up? Take action? I'll take "take action" for $1 million Alex. That is correct! Although you can't put a price on health, it is definitely worth more than a cool million to beat diabetes.

Define "beat" diabetes...Well, now that just means to get it under control. Wars all have fronts. I think that the best front for diabetes is one equipped with heavy artillery.

Ways to meet this challenge:

    * Check blood sugar daily, follow guidelines from your doctor. I use an Accu-Chek Aviva meter and love it. I am pleased with the customer service. They aren't paying me to say this. I just like to say what I like. It does not require cleaning, other than wiping it off, because the metallic sensors are in contact with the meter, instead of blood.

    * Keep all medical appointments and contact the doctor if there are abnormal readings on a consistent basis. Write down all medications, records of readings and take to the doctor. I keep a list of all medications, the strengths, dosages and what they are for. This stays in my purse. If am emergency, it is all there. I also have on the same paper all diagnoses.

    * Medication must be taken as prescribed. Otherwise, well you know, you will become very sick. Taking meds is not a sign of weakness. It is a way of taking a stronghold on diabetes.

    * Eat all meals as recommended. I have started a special Type II diabetes plan, and am in week one. I am keeping track of recipes which I favor. Also I'm trying to create new dishes. I will let you know when I have a good one.

    * Exercise as tolerated. Not everybody is going to be an Olympic champion. I have other medical issues which keep me off my feet. This is not a problem. I just chair exercise and do lots of stretches. Water exercise is also great, as you can use those foam supports.

    * Stimulate the brain. The internet can be great for social networking but getting out and socializing helps. Playing board games with family and friends, cards, puzzles, and other brain stimulators keep the cognitive juices cooking. Reading, writing, working with numbers, mentoring others all help. Let creativity flow. Artists and craft enthusiasts benefit from the release which comes with creation.

    * Emotional support is vital for proper diabetes care. When the emotions are elevated to a negative stress level, blood sugar reacts. Counseling, stress management, healthy outlets such as watching funny or sad movies, all help. 

    * Spiritual supports such as prayer, meditation, worship, inspirational reading-all help to refresh our minds and touch our souls.

So there you have it. Record, Refresh, Release, Regroup, all play a part in managing diabetes.

Be good to yourself.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Soup is Good for The Soul and The Waistline

Several years ago we used to have a huge garden. We canned all sorts of things, especially since we found a great deal on a pressure canner. Home canning benefits are that you can take vegetables in their raw form and preserve their nutritional value. 
One year was an especially tough year, financially. We decided to take what we had in food storage and make it work. As we tended to put on winter weight, we decided to try eating soup on a regular basis. The crock put became our best friend. Rather than boiling vegetables too hard, we put them all in the crock pot and let them cook slowly. Little did I know that this was the healthy way to make soup. Stock was made from whatever meat was on hand. Many times we just counted on the vegetables for stock.  
Aroma from the simmering soup would catch our noses and stomachs. By the time soup was ready, so were we. I learned how to make homemade croutons. They were wonderful to sprinkle on top. Made with whole wheat bread, stored in the freezer, garlic and other tasty sprinkles such as cheese, the croutons were a success. Much to our palates delight, we were well fed with tasty and healthy soup. 
Weight control was phenomenal that winter. While he stayed the same as his before winter weight, I actually lost. Both of us benefited from this experience. Until weather turned to full spring, we stayed on the soup regimen. Creativity blossomed, as different recipe experiments were tried. Nothing was recorded, regrettably so.  
What I learned was that by getting to the base of nature by using food to the fullest extent, there was the enrichment of the soul. My mind was clearer I was able to focus on more spiritual aspects of my life. I also was a more productive person. My body was healthier than it had been, as I have had to battle the bulge since my teen aged life. And I was able to share with neighbors who could not get out as easily. Soup became the way of touching the innermost goodness in me. And that always feels good. 

Today, I do not have a garden but I still love fresh vegetables. After years of learning and experiencing the benefits, my vote is for freshness. Even picky eaters will sometimes eat vegetables in soup form. In vegetable stock, it is almost impossible to detect which vegetables are in there. As we are all feeling the abundance of holiday goodies, soup is going to start entering the menu more often. Time to get the crock pot out and fill it with plenty of natures bounty, to delight the soul. Aah soup, wonderful soup!

Type II Diabetes - Time to Take it On!

As a person who has Type II Diabetes I have to face the facts. When I checked my blood sugar this morning it was 163, which is 23 points above the high normal of 140. Most doctors are now placing the high number at 130. Reality is that I can no longer manage this simply. It must be managed head on. Otherwise, I am going to have other health problems which are irreversible. This is not going to happen. Although there are those who have diabetes and follow their plan and still have long term health problems, I know that by addressing the problem I can be part of the solution.

In some ways, I am blessed to have diabetes. It has helped me to take a look at my over-all health. I have made some small changes, but they do add up. I have a couple of links here from Dr. Weil and from the American Diabetes Association. Everybody is different and not everything here is going to fit completely.

If you or a loved one have diabetes, I invite you to take a look at the links. I am always here if you ever need a comrade in this battle. 

Peace, Lisa

Natural Health, Natural Medicine: The Complete Guide to Wellness and Self-Care for Optimum HealthAmerican Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes