August 29th, 2013Nutrition
Here you will learn all about nutrition, in order to bring out the inner goddess in you through what you eat and through the vitamins and minerals you will get from your new, healthy diet.Tags: nutrition, weight loss, welcome
December 20th, 2012Kids Cooking
By providing a number of different ways to explore the actual cooking process, children begin to work through the creative process. You can almost see it as they try to decide what needs to be added first when sauteing vegetables or if a turkey should be boiled or baked in order to get that signature crispy skin. Letting a kid explore is one of the greatest ways to build their minds.
While the two ideas above deal with being in the present and working with what you have, cleaning up teaches an important aspect of looking ahead. By looking forward and planning ahead, many of the accidents and other mishaps can be prevented. By keeping your mind on what you are doing and will have to do, the child will learn to think about what needs to happen. For instance, if you are not cleaning as you go, you will eventually run out of counter space to prepare food.
Cleanliness also aids with organization skills, making it important to know where everything is located at all times and easy to get to. By keeping your area clean, you will not accidentally scald the milk because you were digging around for the cornstarch.
By learning the power of properly wielding a knife, the creativity of food preparation and the foresight of cleanliness, children will gather many life-lessons from techniques they learn in the kitchen.
So get up, grab a cutting board and a whisk and start explaining what you are trying to accomplish every time you make dinner for your family.
December 19th, 2012Kids Cooking
The kitchen, like martial arts or girl scouts, offers many opportunities to teach kids different techniques and disciplines. These techniques help to develop a child’s mind and both self and spatial awareness. Teaching kids different techniques in the kitchen builds more than just one aspect of their being, but instead everything from the inside out. Let’s take a look at a couple of techniques and how they help to develop the child.
Wielding a knife requires a set of skills all on its own, but being in complete control of the blade has a feeling like none other. Teaching a child at an early age, how to respect a sharp edge, gives them the understanding of how power and authority work. Demonstrating how a simple flick of the wrist can completely demolish a potato or watermelon is both amazing and awe-inspiring to a child.
But understanding how to control that power and manipulate it for a good cause is a lesson that is not taught too often in life. Many times people go around abusing power with reckless abandon and, unlike the once-popular comic books; the good guys don’t always win. These techniques teach self-control and how to use the power for good.
Teaching different cooking styles is equivalent to giving a child a box of 100 crayons. With this many different colors and combination’s to use, creativity begins to flourish. The same goes with different cooking styles. Learning the simple differences between wet heat, dry heat and combination heat, the child can begin to play with what works best in each situation.
Changes in the body that accompany aging can make you vulnerable to shifts in water balance and electrolytes. In fact, when 35 nursing home residents were followed for six months, a third of them were found to be dehydrated. They had not drunk enough liquids, had lost too much fluid, or both, as reported in The American Journal Of Nursing Volume 106, page 40 June 2006.
There are several potential consequences of dehydration, some more serious than others depending upon the age and overall health of the individual.
The effects of dehydration upon the body can include constipation, falls, drug toxicity, urinary tract infections, longer healing times for wounds, and even hospitalization. If the electrolytes get out of balance, the person may experience irregular heart rhythms such as palpitations and muscle weakness.
The cue to drink, known as the thirst response, becomes duller with age. At the same time, the body uses water less efficiently as we get older, leading to dehydration if drinking fresh water does not become a habit.
Certain medications such as diuretics and laxatives, cognitive impairment, and many illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and infections, can also increase the chances that a person may become dehydrated.
Fortunately, even if you or your loved one does not like to drink a lot of liquids, there are a lot of foods and beverages that can keep up their levels of hydration and nutrition, too.
Water is the ideal to consume because it has no calories, but you can also maintain hydration with fruit, fruit juice, low-sodium soups, decaffeinated coffee and tea, and vegetables such as those you would eat in a salad.
Top picks for hydration-rich fruits include watermelon, berries and grapes and for veggies, tomatoes and lettuce.
The Institute of Medicine recommends about 11.5 cups of fluid a day for women and 15.5 cups for men, which includes water in food. A cup is eight ounces. About one-fifth of your fluid intake will come from the food you eat.
At nearly three quarts of liquid a day, it can be difficult to consume this much unless you have a plan. A fruit smoothie in the morning, some decaffeinated green tea in the late morning and at tea time, and perhaps some sparkling water with a twist at lunch and dinner will cover 6 servings of liquids. With a couple of pieces of fruit during the day and a salad at lunch and dinner, you will be able to eat small, nutritious meals and get your hydration at the same time.
Avoid sugary beverages like soda, or ones with milk in them if you are concerned about calories and fat. Also avoid drinks with too much caffeine or artificial sweetener, or colorings.
You will also want to avoid alcoholic beverages. One glass of red wine a day is fine for heart health, but in general, alcoholic drinks have a great number of calories per ounce and they also tend to dehydrate because of the high sugar content in many of these drinks (the yeast turns the sugar into alcohol).
One other thing to consider is the time of year. Many people will drink more in the summer because of the hot weather, but not many people realize just how dehydrated they can get in the winter, when the air is much drier.
If you have trouble drinking as much as the experts suggest, carry around a water bottle with you complete with some tasty drink sticks or Kool-Aid natural to break up the monotony, or add a dash of fruit juice. Cranberry juice will not only help with the taste, it can also help with bladder and urinary tract health.
A banana in your smoothie can also help you replace lost electrolytes from the summer heat or any fitness activities you might do at the gym. Stay hydrated, and you can stay fit and alert all day, and all year round, no matter what your age.
FURTHER READING:Tags: dehydration, senior health
Fiber is an essential part of our diet, providing nutrients, and also bulk to help the food we eat easily pass through our very long and winding digestive tract.
We have known for some time that diets rich in whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice and popcorn can protect against high blood pressure, compared with more highly-processed grains such as white flour, white rice, and cookies and other snacks.
However, some researchers wanted to know more, in order to discover which were the best fiber sources to consume.
There are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble can dissolve in liquid, whereas insoluble can’t. One fiber study reported in The Journal Of The American Dietetic Association Volume 106, page 1445 September 2006, set out to discover which type of fiber could account for a reduction in blood pressure.
The study followed 18 women and seven men with blood pressure readings of less than 140/90 mm Hg. These study subjects were put on the American Heart Association’s Step I diet, in which they ate normally for the first two weeks and then some alterations were made.
After two weeks, the refined carbohydrates in the diet such as white flour and rice were replaced by whole wheat and brown rice (insoluble fiber), barley (soluble fiber), or half wheat-rice/half barley (a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber) for five weeks each.
The blood pressure of the study participants was taken weekly, and their weight measured daily.
The results of the study showed that:
Systolic blood pressure (the upper number) was reduced by both the wheat-rice and the combination diets, but not by the barley (soluble fiber) diet.
Diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) was reduced by all three diets.
There were no differences between the three groups in the study in terms of their urinary excretion of minerals, such as sodium and potassium, that might affect blood pressure. (Those two minerals are essential electrolytes that help with heart and bodily functions.)
The researchers concluded that in a healthful diet, eliminating refined carbohydrates by replacing them with any type of whole grain can reduce blood pressure.
The greatest benefit seems to be from a mixed diet with soluble and insoluble fiber. We would have liked to see another study with one arm of it giving people only insoluble fiber.
Added benefits of fiber:
Fiber is present in whole grains and in fruit. Eating a diet rich in fiber may also help to control your weight. The participants lost weight during the study, most likely because fiber helps you feel full.
Fiber is thought to also help ward off certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Therefore, if you think you are not getting enough fiber, make a point of eating more whole grains plus fresh fruits and vegetables.
Try to get your fiber from natural sources, not just caplets or the chewable fiber supplements that have become so popular. They may help you feel full and bulk stools to prevent constipation, but they can be expensive, and don’t provide the same nutrients, or the same delicious taste as a piece of fruit or a delicious salad.
Fiber can help you feel full, maintain colon health, add nutrients to your diet, and lower blood pressure. Plus, it can taste great as well. Aim for about 30 grams of fiber per day in your diet and you should soon see your blood pressure numbers start to improve.
FURTHER READING:Tags: diet, fiber, fiber in diet, losing weight, nutrition
Just spotted this great title on Healthy Super Bowl Snacks which also comes complete with a party planner.
So if you are looking for great food for your family an/or guests for your Super Bowl Party, check it out.Tags: healthy snacks, snacks
What You Need:
12 oz. of semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 C + 2 T of all purpose flour
3/4 t of baking powder
1/2 t of salt
1 1/4 C of sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 t of vanilla extract
4/2 oz. chocolate covered toffee bars, chopped coarsely
How to Make It:
Place the chocolate and the butter into a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave on high power for 1 minute then stir until smooth.
Allow the chocolate to cool to lukewarm.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl mix together the sugar and eggs with a mixer on high speed for 2 minutes or until thick and pale.
Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla and beat to blend in well.
Reduce the speed of the mixture to low and blend in the flour mixture for 30 seconds.
Fold the candy pieces into the batter.
Cover and refrigerate the batter fir 25 minutes or until firm.
Place the oven rack into the center of the oven.
Set the oven temperature at 350 and allow the oven to preheat.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a 1/4 C measuring cup transfer the batter by cupfuls to the lined baking sheet.
Press the cookies down with a spatula to flatten.
Bake 21 minutes or until the tops are just dry and cracked but the cookies are still soft to the touch.
Makes 18 large cookies
Don’t have a one quarter cup measuring cup? Use an ice cream scooper instead. You can make smaller cookies if you prefer which should make another 6 to 10 cookies depending on how small you make them. If making smaller cookies bake for 15 minutes and then check for doneness.Tags: chocolate, cookies, toffee
What You Need:
2 (6 oz.) containers of low fat strawberry yogurt
1 C of fresh blueberries
1 C of honey cluster cereal
How to Make It:
Place the yogurt into a mixing bowl.
Fold in the blueberries.
Divide the yogurt mixture between two drinking glasses.
Top each parfait with 1/2 C of the cereal mixture.
Makes 2 parfaits
Let your children create their own favorite parfaits by using different flavors of yogurt and different fresh fruits. Not only is this a healthy way to start their day but it’s a great breakfast for the kids to fix for Mom and Dad.
Preparation Time: approximately 10 minutesTags: parfaits
Total Time: approximately 10 minutes