Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Counting Our Blessings.

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them,
is the true measure of our thanksgiving."
~W.T. Purkiser ~

"He is a wise man who does not grieve
for the things which he has not,
but rejoices for those which he has.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Gobble, gobble. :)

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Ain't It Sweet!

Snacking on sweet potatoes can help your skin stay clear, smooth and young-looking. The reason is the vibrant colored orange in sweet potatoes comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant that converts to vitamin A in your body and switches on DNA that's in charge of producing new skin cells and shedding old ones. A regular influx of new cells keeps the surface of your skin smooth, fresh-looking and resistant to irritants and damage.

Did I also mention they are so delicious? Find your favorite sweet potato recipe, eat them on a regular basis and keep your skin beauteous!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Healthy Banana Bread.

~Healthy Banana Bread Recipe~

You will need:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (or you can also use honey)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (4-5 bananas)

1. Mash the bananas and beat the egg. Now mix them both together with sugar (or honey), salt and cinnamon.

2. Now take a large bowl and mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda.

3. Stir and you are done. Now all there is left to do is pour the batter into the bread pan and bake at 350F (180C) for 50 minutes. You can test the bread by sticking a knife into the loaf and if it comes out clean it is finished.

Mmm, can't you just smell it baking now!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Yes ---ED-A-MA-Me.

One of my favorite snacks is edamame. It is the perfect food to eat when you just want something lite and tasty or just want to cook something quick. I love to eat them steamed and with a little bit of sea/kosher or garlic salt. Some people prefer it with pepper on it or cold and/or in a salad.

Here's the nutritional facts you'll find in a half-cup serving of shelled edamame (or 1 1/8 cup edamame in the pods):

  • 120 calories
  • 9 grams fiber
  • 2.5 grams fat
  • 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
  • 11 grams protein
  • 13 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 mg sodium
  • 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
  • 10% Daily Value for iron
  • 8% Daily Value for vitamin A
  • 4% Daily Value for calcium
The bottom line: "It remains prudent to recommend soy in a heart-healthy diet because of [its] nutritional value and as a healthy substitute for protein sources that are higher in saturated fat and cholesterol," says Pennsylvania State University nutrition researcher Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD.

How Do You Buy It?
In the supermarket, you can find two types of edamame in the frozen vegetable section: shelled or with the pods. Both are already cooked and ready to be thawed and eaten.

Try several different ways to eat it, find your favorite, enjoy and be healthy!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Healthy Shopping List.

I know how hard it is to find the time to grocery shop, never mind writing a shopping list. But! I made a pact to myself that I'm going to start thinking of healthy meals I want to make for the week. If you go in the grocery store with a written list and stick to it you will not only notice you will be eating better but also it will be easier on the wallet and it will save you from hitting the fast food places on the way home from work.
Here is a healthy grocery list to help you make better choices at the market:

Canned Foods: Black Beans, Tomatoes, Marinara Sauce, Tuna, Salmon, Pinto Beans, White Beans, Pineapples

Meats: Lean Hamburger, Pork Chops, Steaks, Fish, Shell Fish, Chicken, Turkey Ham

Grains and Cereals: Whole Grain Bread, Whole Grain Pasta, Whole Grain Cereal, Oatmeal

Beverages: 100% Fruit Juice, Sparkling Water, Tomato Juice, Herb Tea

Dairy and Eggs: Low Fat Sour Cream, Low Fat Milk, Cheddar Cheese, and Butter, Low Fat Cream Cheese, Colby Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, Yogurt

Miscellaneous Items: Herbs and Spices, Sesame Oil, Low Fat Dressings, Mustard, Low Fat Mayonnaise, Honey, Low Sodium Soy Sauce, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Mixed Nuts, Almonds, Pecans, Flax Seeds, Olive Oil, Walnut Oil, Garlic

*Notice there are many meal options and combined with a great recipe healthy foods can taste delightful as well!

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Flick.

One of my favorite pastimes is going to the cinema to watch a great flick. The smell of freshly popped popcorn, the large advertising posters everywhere that gives us a glimpse of wonderful movies to come. The movies are something you can do any time, any weather, any season.

Maybe like me you love a good suspense film or a hilarious romantic comedy. I love getting swept away in the plot and trying to guess the next twist and turn or to just laugh until I cry and my stomach hurts.

So, if you have nothing exciting to do tonight and want to get your heart pumping or just want to relax and enjoy a heart-felt-feel-good movie, then what are you waiting for?!

Make it a girls/guys night or a romantic night out with the one you love!

And that's a wrap!!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Give ME Some Sugar Baby!

Ok---So what's the safest, best sugar substitute?

Three popular chemical, artificial sweeteners are saccharin (Sweet 'n Low), aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) and sucralose (Splenda). Their appeal has always been to have a sweet taste with no calories; here are additional facts about each one:


  • 300 times as sweet as sugar
  • Listed as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1972
  • Proposed ban in 1977 under suspicion of causing cancer
  • Switched back to safe in 2000


  • 180 times as sweet as sugar
  • Approved in 1981
  • Used extensively in diet sodas and thousands of other foods
  • Thousands complain to the FDA about bad health effect
  • 600 times as sweet as sugar
  • Approved in 1998
  • Made by attaching three chlorine atoms to a sugar molecule
  • Failed animal tests and long-term safety unknown
Scary but true facts! These much-used sugar substitutes are causing disquiet because of continuing evidence that their use causes people to actually gain weight and suspicion that they increase the appetite for more sweets. The substitutes have no nutritional value, cause numerous unhealthy symptoms and have failed animal tests that have been overlooked by the FDA.Natural Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners have an advantage over the artificial sweeteners in that they contain nutrients, are trustworthy and healthy, but most contain calories.


  • One third sweeter than sugar and least processed of the naturals
  • Doesn't spike blood sugar
  • Raw honey aids in digestion (not for children less than two years of age)

Maple Syrup:

  • 60% sucrose
  • One gallon uses 30 to 50 gallons of maple tree sap
  • Has a low glycemic index (54)

Tagatose (Naturlose):

  • Made from milk sugar
  • 92% as sweet as sugar
  • One third calories of sugar


  • 60% as sweet as sugar
  • Used in chewing gum and other products
  • Doesn't increase blood sugar; laxative effect at high doses
~Guess we have to follow our instincts on this one, I think I will stick to the natural sweeteners but in moderation.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mocktail Anyone?

One to try: This zero-alcohol treat—from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining. It’s low-cal and even packs an antioxidant punch. Cheers to that!

Mocktail: Pomegranate Frost
Serves 6

Ice cubes
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 cup each fresh Meyer lemon juice and fresh lime juice
1 bottle sparkling water
8 finely shredded fresh mint leaves

1. Fill a pitcher half-full with ice cubes. Add the pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice, lime juice, 1 1/2 cups sparkling water, and the shredded mint; stir until well mixed.
2. Fill 6 tall glasses with ice. Pour the mixture into the glasses, and serve immediately.

Great for the holidays!

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Yoga Pose Of The Day.

Cobra Pose

Lie on your belly with your hands under your shoulders, fingers pointing forward. Hug your elbows in tightly to your sides as you draw your shoulders together behind you. Stabilize your lower back by firming the abdominal muscles and drawing the tailbone down toward the floor.

Begin to lift the chest up to the ceiling, taking care to keep your neck long. This action is supported by the arms, but the majority of the work should be done by the para-spinal muscles in the back. Only go up to your comfort level—you don’t get more points for “going higher” in the pose. Hold for 5 to 15 breaths, then gently lower your body to the ground. Repeat 3 times.


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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Night Snacking.

We all know how easy it is---mainly because of boredom-- to snack all night long after we have already ate dinner. We will sit and shove one high calorie snack after another in our mouth until we are so stuffed we can't move. Here are a few steps we can take to stop this unhealthy cycle and to also learn to eat more low calorie foods so we don't pack on the pounds.

  • Eat slowly - The slower you eat the fuller you get quicker.
  • Switch the spicy chips for whole-wheat pretzels dipped in mild chipotle salsa. Subbing deep fried, fatty chips for more nutritious and quick-digesting crunchy pretzels satisfies the taste craving for crunchy and smoky.
  • Grab some chocolate graham crackers and spread them with some all-natural jam or a smidge of peanut butter. While not totally all natural or sugar-free, it satisfies the sweet tooth and gives us some fruit and protein.

Here are a few low calorie snacks to choose instead of high calorie junk food:
  1. If craving chocolate try "Hershey Kisses" - only 100 calories in three pieces.
  2. Half a cup of strawberries and lite Cool Whip - Only 90 calories.
  3. One half an english muffin and a teaspoon of protein-packed peanut butter - 95 calories.
  4. 2 sheets of graham crackers - 100 calories.
  5. Jello fat-free pudding - pick your favorite flavor - 100 calories.
  6. Frozen yogurt - 3 ounces - 100 calories.
  7. A cup of juicy cherries - 100 calories.
  8. One hard boiled egg - 81 calories.
  9. 10 raw almonds - 100 calories.
  10. 3 cups of air-popped popcorn - 93 calories.

Smart Choices = Better Health

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Sweet Tooth.

I love sweets, especially after dinner. There is nothing better than dessert and a warm drink especially in the winter months. Ok---so what can we do to satisfy our sweet tooth's without feeling guilty afterward?!

  • Share your dessert: Share it if you want to minimize both the calories and the guilt and maximize the pleasure. When two or even three of you eat one helping of dessert, you satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling like you’ve deprived yourself of a treat.
  • Take small helpings: If you’ve made dessert at home or are at a friend’s or family member’s place for dinner, don’t skip the dish altogether, especially if it’s a favorite. Instead, eat a small helping so that you get to enjoy yourself and limit your calorie intake.
  • Choose dark chocolate: Chocolate is good for you, if eaten in the right amounts. If you like this sweet treat, try dark chocolate to satisfy your craving for something sweet. It’s not just a dessert, it also has health benefits for your heart.
  • Eat more of fruit: Fruit is good for you and also sweet tasting. So fill up on this instead of the cake or cookies. Yogurt is also another good choice for dessert.
  • Fill your stomach first: If you are in danger of over-eating dessert, eat your fill of the main course, thus leaving yourself very little room to indulge your sweet tooth.
  • Treat yourself occasionally: If dieting, don't feel guilty eating sweets now and then. Instead, treat yourself occasionally to your favorite dish so that your cravings don’t get out of hand.

Remember everything in moderation and don't forget to exercise!

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Feel Good Music.

We will be heading off to Boston tonight to see "The Swell Season". This band was the cast of the film "Once" whom won an academy award for the music they created and played in it. It is a wonderful, fun, feel good movie that truly inspires you to not only love music but also fall in love with this charismatic band.

"The Swell Season are Glen Hansard (from the Irish band, The Frames) and Marketa Irglova (classically trained Czech pianist and vocalist). Musicians that have appeared on their albums and accompanied them on tour include: Marja Tuhkanen (violin), Bertrand Galen (cello), John Carney (bass guitar), Thomas Bartlett (keyboard), Joseph Doyle (bass guitar), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (violin), Rob Bochnik (guitar), Graham Hopkins (drums), Javier Mas (guitar), Chad Taylor (drums), Steven Bernstein (horns), and Clark Gayton (horns)."

I'm sure we will be singing away to all their beautiful songs. They are also playing at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence on Saturday 11/7, check them out, you won't be disappointed!

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Friday's Top Ten.

Here are the top 10 current exercise videos rated by customers.
  1. Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zone
  2. Prevention: 2-Week Total Body Turnaround
  3. Jari Love's Extremely Ripped
  4. Leslie Sansone: Walk Your Belly Flat 3-Mile Walk
  5. The Firm: Ultimate Fat-Burning Collection
  6. The Strong Knees Workout
  7. Ilaria's BodyStrikes
  8. ShapelyGirl: Walking Fit with Debra Mazda
  9. Michelle Dozois: The Ultimate Workout
  10. Tamilee: Weight Loss Walk 3-Mile Walk
*There is something listed here for everyone, with winter right around the corner exercise videos are the perfect way to stay in shape!

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Current Addiction.

Well the cold weather has officially arrived and so has cold and flu season. I have been popping vitamin C daily to try to ward off the evil flu monster. So far so good...Knock on wood! I love the chewable vitamins because they taste good and are easy to swallow.

Vitamin C appears to boost immune system function helping fight off infection. Although it is a popular notion, Vitamin C does not cure the common cold. It can help shorten the duration of a cold when taken at the onset of symptoms.

Choose your favorite kind and chew away, good luck!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ergonomically Correct.

Don’t be one of the many workers who suffer from back pain and other ailments as a direct result of sitting in a substandard or poorly adjusted chair. Be good to the almost 100 muscles you use while sitting in your work chair by selecting a chair that is designed for both comfort and health.

~Work Chairs

When it comes to basic features for your work chair, you generally want to look for those that provide support, comfort and adjustability. At the very least, try to get a chair that has height and back adjustment features. And those features should be within easy reach while seated. Keep in mind that the more adjustment capabilities a chair has, the more people will be able to sit on it comfortably.

~Try it out
Perhaps the best test for the right work chair is a dry run. You’ll absolutely want to try out that chair before buying. Sit in the chair for at least five minutes – optimally a half hour – to see if you remain comfortable. If you don’t feel anything at all, that’s good – it’s probably a perfect fit.

~Know how to adjust your chair
Many office workers never adjust their work chair. What good is a chair that can be custom-fit to your individual needs if its features are never utilized? Be sure to learn about the operational controls and features of your chair, and do use them so that you can derive the optimal benefit from this very important work tool.

Do keep in mind that – no matter how perfect the chair fit – the human body was not meant to be inactive for hours. Sitting all day is not good for the body and will cause it undue stress and strain. Literally step away from your chair every so often and move your legs and body. Optimally, you want a bit of variety in job tasks so that you are not limited to work duties that require sitting only.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fun Exercise Ideas For Kids.

It's so easy to let your kids veg out in front of the TV watching cartoons or playing video games while you are getting mommy or daddy stuff done. Before you know it half the day is gone and you realize they are still in their pj's and haven't even seen the light of day and have had NO exercise at all. Kids who are physically fit sleep better and can also handle physical and emotional challenges better.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your kids in tip-top-kid shape.

  1. Round up the posse and go for a walk!
  2. Jump rope!
  3. Dance!
  4. Go swimming!
  5. Ride bikes!
  6. Take the dog for a walk!
  7. Go to a park and play frisbee!
  8. Watch kid workout videos!
  9. Day trips! Rollerskating, bowling, etc....
  10. Get your kids involved in recreational and team sports!
In a study conducted by the Woman's Sports Foundation found that teens who were involved in sports were less likely to be involved in sexual activity, drugs and abusive relationships. They also had a higher chance of graduating high school and college.

So get your kids moving!

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Quote!

Laughter is inner jogging.
~Norman Cousins~

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