Saturday, November 30, 2013


Slow down and enjoy your meal.  In our fast paced society we often find ourselves rushing through our meals and that is not a good thing.  In addition to not really tasting the food, having it sitting in your digestive system half chewed, etc, eating slower not only allows you to taste and enjoy your food it also helps you to eat less and feel fuller!  How simple is that?  You want to eat less?  Slow down and enjoy what you are eating!  In a study at the Center for Mindful Eating it was found that people who took 30 minutes to eat a bowl of ice cream (yes, despite some melting), their bodies produced more fullness hormones than when they ate it in 5 minutes. Would you believe your taste buds fatigue just like the rest of your body.  As your taste buds fatigue flavors diminish so you find it easier to stop eating!

Friday, November 29, 2013


Many experts say that while the word antibacterial on your soaps and cleaning products may make you feel reassured, you can overdo it!  Many antibacterial soaps, laundry detergents, dish detergents, and cleaning products contain triclosan.  Triclosan is a substance that can kill or slow the growth of many bacteria, including e. coli, strep, and staph but there may be drawbacks to using it on an everyday basis, according to Dr. Rebecca Sutton, an environmental chemist.  She has said that animal studies suggest it may affect the thyroid and sex hormones and it has been found in urine and in breast milk.  There is also research that suggests it may contribute to antibiotic resistance. Dr. Sutton as well as many other doctors and scientists suggest cleaning with plain old soap and water.

Note: This picture has nothing to do with name brand and is used only to make a point here.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Keeping Your Kitchen Sanitary

Yesterday's post was about germophobes and how we should not become obsessed about germs.  However, it is important to remember a couple of areas in your kitchen that must be kept wiped down and cleaned after using.  Here is some important information:

  • Your refrigerator handle should be on your priority list.  It is especially important to remember that after handling raw chicken you may touch the handle of your refrigerator and then return to get lettuce or salad makings.  Hands should be washed between these two tasks and refrigerator handles wiped down.
  • Your kitchen sink faucet handles.  Basically the same applies as it does above.  When handling poultry especially, you may touch your faucet handles then touch them again to wash lettuce or other produce that will be eaten raw.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Are you one of those people who just knows everything you touch is going to make you sick?  Well relax! According to Abigail Salyers, Ph.D., professor of microbiology at the University of Illinois in Urbana, under normal circumstances there is no reason to treat doorknobs and sinks as if they were coated in swine  flu virus.  She said, "Germs are ubiquitous, but fewer than 1% of them cause disease, and many actually keep us healthy." She went on to say, "Not only are most bugs benign, but it typically takes thousands, or even millions, of the bad ones to make you sick."

Viruses survive longer on hard surfaces so concentrate your cleaning efforts on those surfaces.

Note: Dr. Salyers said, "Under normal circumstances." When someone has a communicable illness, more stringent efforts apply.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Here is a useful (especially for diabetics) chart I came across the other day in a diabetes brochure at the VA. Hopefully some of you will find it useful.  And yes, I know the calories and carbs are basically the same in a slice of white or wheat bread.  Notice that doesn't say whole-wheat bread.  But the difference (again, especially important for diabetics) is in the way the body absorbs nutritionally deficient white bread vs wheat bread.
Click on the chart to enlarge for easier reading.

Note: 15 carbs = 1 carb serving

Friday, November 22, 2013


Studies have shown that eating mostly foods that come from plants may help prevent cancer growth.  Foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are high in antioxidants.  Antioxidants are known to help prevent cancer growth.  Make sure your meals are at least 2/3s vegetables and/or whole grains such as brown rice.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Did you know that oranges may help to lower blood cholesterol? They contain terpenes that reduce serum cholesterol levels and they are high in LDL-lowering fiber. What a tasty way to improve your cholesterol numbers!


If you are fond of sandwiches or eat more than you would like out of necessity, there are many ways to make sandwiches healthier.  Here are a few healthy ideas for your sandwiches:

  • Start with a whole-grain bread.  Never use plain white bread as it is an overly processed unhealthy food.
  • Make the main ingredient a healthy protein.  Use a lean meat, fish, or other protein not a fatty, unhealthy meat.
  • If using cheese, choose a low-fat cheese.  Cheese is a good source of calcium, just be sure to use a low-fat variety.
  • Add fresh fruit to your sandwich.  Thin slices of apple or pear are good options.
  • Definitely add some dark leafy greens.  Fresh spinach is a great option.
  • Beware of the mayo or other fat and/or sugar loaded sauces.  Try mustard or hummus.  Thin slices of avocado are also a good idea.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cherry Juice for Sleep

If you have trouble getting to sleep or sleeping soundly you might want to try some cherry juice.  Tart cherry juice is rich in melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your internal clock.  Try drinking 8-oz of cherry juice mixed with seltzer water before bedtime.

This is not an endorsement of this brand.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Would you believe that minty scents and flavors could help with weight loss?  Researchers at West Virginia University found that the scent of mint is an appetite suppressant. In their research they found that those who chewed mint-flavored gum or used minty-scented lotions when they had an urge to snack throughout the day, consumed 3,000 less calories per week. That is a weight loss of about a pound per week!

This is not an endorsement of this brand.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Studies have shown that those who eat breakfast everyday are much more likely to keep extra weight off and also that breakfast is a must for a diabetic to keep their blood sugar at a healthy level.  Be sure, however, that you make that a healthy breakfast! Skip the donuts, sweet rolls, sugary cereals, etc. Have some oatmeal with fresh fruit, an omelet, whole-grain toast or English muffin, or a whole-grain cereal with a sugar substitute instead of sugar.


Since I am a diabetic, I don't drink fruit juice.  It is more important for me to eat the whole fruit.  But if diabetes is not a concern for you, it is suggested you drink juices that are high in vitamin C during cold and flu season.  Vitamin C is important in helping the immune system function well.  Studies show that people who regularly get vitamin C in their diets have shorter colds with milder symptoms*.  Juices suggested by doctors include orange, grapefruit, and papaya.

*Note this says, "Who regularly get vitamin C in their diets".  This is not a recommendation for taking vitamin C tablets, etc.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How To Speed Up Your Metabolism

Does your metabolism need a boost?  The fix could be really simple.  Are you drinking enough water? When the body doesn't have enough water, the metabolism slows down.

Another easy fix is to add some chili peppers to your diet.  The compound that makes peppers hot, Capsaicin, can boost metabolism by more than 20%.

Here is another good tip - eat some lean protein at every meal. The body uses 7 times as much energy to digest protein as it does to digest fats and carbohydrates.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


When asked, "What's the one unhealthy food that I shouldn't eat?", the doctor replied, "Anything white that is not a fruit or a vegetable. It's a sign that the food has been processed down to a very simple carbohydrate that probably doesn't have many nutrients."

White bread is a perfect example!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


In the past, on this blog, I have discussed various reasons for using coconut oil and here is a good one. Cook with coconut oil to boost your brain power!  Coconut oil has a type of fat that is immediately shuttled to your blood for your brain to use as fuel, according to Dr. Oz the medical guru so many of you follow.  As previously discussed here it is also believed that coconut oil slows down and/or helps to prevent Alzheimer's Disease.  Be good to your brain and give it some coconut oil often.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Substituting Olive Oil for Butter (from the California Olive Ranch

Cooking with our California Olive Oil

Our versatile extra virgin olive oil is perfect for cooking, frying, sautéing, poaching, dressing and baking. It is a heart-healthy fat, high in polyphenols. Browse our recipe section to find ideas for today’s meal!
Olive Oil Cake - Fig Orange

Baking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Baking with olive oil is rapidly gaining in popularity in the U.S. You can substitute olive oil for butter in any of your recipes by using the handy conversion table. Be sure to check out our dessert recipes for inspiring ideas on baking with olive oil and our chefs tips from Alice Medrich, noted cookbook author who has created many baking recipes using extra virgin olive oil.

Substituting Olive Oil for Butter

  • Butter
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ cup
  • 1/3 cup
  • ½ cup
  • 2/3 cup
  • ¾ cup
  • 1 cup
  • Oil
  • ¾ teaspoon
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons
  • 3 tablespoons
  • ¼ cup
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
  • ¾ cup
Conversion table courtesy of Carol Firenze, The Passionate Olive

Deep Frying with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Deep Frying with Olive Oil
“There is a popular misconception that extra virgin olive oil cannot be heated to the temperatures needed to deep fry. Certainly 450 degrees F is too hot for extra-virgin olive oil. But at 380 degrees, maybe a bit higher, the oil will not smoke, which indicates a breakdown of its components. (Thermometers for deep frying are widely available if you’re not sure how to gauge the temperature.) The smoke point depends on the initial free fatty acid content of the fat. Refined oils that have been stripped of their fatty acids are what most people use for deep frying. But extra virgin olive oil has a very low fatty acid component, making it eminently suitable.” Fran Gage, author of “The New American Olive Oil: Profiles of Artisan Producers and 75 Recipes” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009)

Proper Storing of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

It is important to store your oil with care to ensure maximum freshness. Olive oil should always be stored in a dark container, in a cool, dark place away from light and heat. Be sure to use your olive oil within the 'best before' date on the bottle. Do not store in the refrigerator as it will become cloudy.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Let me start by saying I am not a medical professional! However, I have spent many hours studying health journals, etc to improve my own health after being diagnosed with many various illnesses.  I only post factual information here that is gleaned from the above mentioned research, if I post something that is only my opinion it will be stated as such.  Having said all that, I am going to post something that you may find controversial.

A year ago I read that a recent study (then) found that people who took calcium in pill form were 25% more likely to have a heart attack than those who didn't.  If you are taking calcium supplements, discuss that with your doctor and follow his/her advice.

It is recommended in most cases that one has 1,000 mg of calcium a day or 1,200 mg if you are over 50. Here are some tips to help you get that calcium without taking a supplement.
  • The body can't absorb large amounts of calcium at once.  That means your calcium consumption is best spread throughout the day in smaller increments rather than a large dose tablet at once.
  • Aim for one calcium-rich food per meal/snack - ideas include 1 cup skim milk in the morning, 1/2 cup almonds as a snack, low-fat yogurt with lunch, 1 cup broccoli at dinner, a glass of milk rather than coffee with dessert.  These are just ideas, base your consumption on your own tastes and circumstances.
  • When buying juices and bread, opt for the calcium-fortified products. Read the nutritional panel to get the amount of calcium per serving.  As you know, I always encourage you to read the nutritional panel on all food products.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Many of you follow Dr. Oz faithfully.  I do not but I do notice when he mentions things I have found to be true.  One of those things is drinking green tea for energy.  Dr. Oz is quoted as saying, "I drink green tea," when asked what he does for an energy boost.  He went on to say, "It has lots of energizing phenols but a quarter of the caffeine of coffee, so I won't get jittery.  Avoid sodas and energy drinks, which give you a quick sugar rush but then you crash."

Friday, November 8, 2013


I recently read an article about a lady who had lost over 100 pounds.  She said her best tip to others is this; pick a "cravings" day!  Her chosen day is Saturday.  If she is craving something on the other six days she tells herself to hold off until Saturday.  She said if she still wants in then, she eats it.  But she has found that most times the craving has passed and she doesn't eat it at all.  Might be worth trying!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


If you are feeling down and need a little mood booster, have a few carbs.  Don't go overboard or eat carbs loaded with sugar, we are talking about only 30 grams of carbs.  That is all it takes to give a boost to your serotonin levels.  Try 4 cups air-popped popcorn, 1/2 cup oatmeal, or half a whole-grain English muffin with just a tablespoon of jam and/or peanut butter.  Carbs have gotten a bad rap.  Eat good carbs and don't overdo it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


According to the Women's Health Letter, buying nuts and seeds from bulk bins in health food stores could make you sick. Nuts sometimes get a common mold that has a by-product known as aflatoxins.  Aflatoxins are among the most potent carcinogens known to man.  It is believed aflatoxins are responsible for the majority of liver cancer cases in the world. Aflatoxins are not detectable as they are completely colorless, tasteless, and odorless.  To protect yourself and your family buy only prepackaged nuts.  Australia and the United States have the highest standards of inspection, storage and packaging so buying nuts from those countries are your best choice.
Note: Picture for reference only. Not a brand recommendation for or against.