SIX IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT BEETS – YOU’LL LEARN TO LOVE THEM GREENS AND ALL! BEETS ARE NATURES VIAGRA! Beets contain loads of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones – while ancient Romans had no … Continue reading
IN THE MIDDLE OF A SNOW STORM IN BUFFALO, NY THERE IS NOTHING BETTER THAN MAKING SOME VEGETARIAN BLACK BEAN SOUP!
I MAKE THIS IN THE CROCK POT SO JUST THROW EVERYTHING IN!
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp garlic
1/2 c frozen corn
2 c vegetable broth
1 c hot salsa
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
dash of lime juice
cheddar cheese and tortilla chips (OPTIONAL)
Place first 6 ingredients in crock pot and cook on LOW setting 4-5 hours. Add spices and lime juice in the last hour of cooking.
Serve with cheddar cheese and tortilla chips on top!
PROVIDES NEARLY 45% OF YOUR DAILY PROTEIN NEEDS AND MINIMAL FAT. (TO ELIMINATE MORE FAT FORGO THE CHEESE AND CHIPS.)
THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE THIS MORNING IN LAKE VIEW, NY!
HEAT UP IN A SNOW STORM WITH THIS SPICY HOT SOUP!
**Personally, I would double the recipe because I want more than 4 servings of this – clears the sinuses too!!
MUST TRY! ONE OF THE WAYS I’M FIGHTING HIGH CHOLESTEROL! Here is my really great recipe for super protein, low fat meatballs (I also make into burgers to cook on the grill)!
1# 96% lean ground beef
1 (15oz) can lentil beans – drained just a bit
1 envelope onion soup mix (I use Lipton or Great Value)
1 tsp instant beef bouillon and seasoning (herb ox)
2-3 Tbsp minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup quinoa prepared according to directions
3 eggs (or egg substitute equivalent to 3 eggs)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and let sit in refrigerator for about an hour (the quinoa will absorb extra liquid and make for more solid burgers and meatballs that hold together). Fashion into 2 good sized burgers (to freeze for later grilling) and 20 large meatballs.
Bake meatballs at 375 degrees 20-25 minutes until browned and firm. I usually freeze and add to my homemade sauce as needed!
**Sometimes I add a tsp of cumin or chili powder to spice them up, or if I’m thinking of beef stroganoff with Swedish meatballs, I add a tsp of ground all spice!
ENJOY AND BE HEALTHY!
CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS A LITTLE HEALTHIER AND AVOID THE UP TO 15 POUND WEIGHT GAIN!
- Focus on weight management rather than weight loss.
- Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain.
- Do not skip meals. Skipping breakfast or lunch before a big holiday dinner actually may cause you to overeat.
- If you know that you will not find any healthy choices, offer to bring something along, such as a salad, vegetable dish, chicken, or fish.
- Pace yourself and become more aware of what you are eating and drinking. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
- Select small portions. This will allow you to enjoy all the different foods offered, while still controlling your calorie intake.
- If you drink, select lite wines and beers, rather than mixed drinks. Alcohol is high in calories. Use diet mixers if available.
- Stand away from buffet tables and food trays to avoid the urge to nibble constantly. My husband’s problem!
- Talk more, eat less. Make the holiday season about enjoying company, rather than all about the food.
- Fill your plate with a rainbow of colors. Choose different varieties of fruits and vegetables often.
- Learn to say “no” politely. You can say: “No thank you. I have had enough. Everything was delicious.” This works even with someone who will not take “no” for an answer.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
MY YOGA WORKOUTS WERE STARTING TO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS IN CHURCH! SOMEWHAT MEDITATIVE BUT STANDING, KNEELING, SITTING, GETTING ON MY BELLY. Maybe that is all part of the workout but it just didn’t seem to flow for me. This prompted me to create my own workout that flows from Mountain Pose all the way down to the Child’s Pose. The whole routine takes about 45-60 minutes depending upon how many reps you choose to do (I usually do 7-10) or how long you stay in your static stretches (I usually stay static for 7-10 breaths).
Start with the Sun Salutation:
Reverse to Mountain pose. You can do more than once as a nice warm-up.
Tree Pose 7-10 breaths then straight into next exercise each 7-10 reps. Repeat on other leg.
Repeat on other side. Do more than once if desired.
For Rising Lunge, rise from one bent knee and raise arms. Lower back down and lower arms. Repeat on other leg.
Alternate stretching to each side 7-10 times.
Can do more than once!
On hands and knees with hands slightly in front of your shoulders, bend and lower your elbows to almost touch the floor. Then rise back up. 7-10 reps.
Begin in full push-up position, palms aligned with shoulders. Place left knee on floor near shoulder and left heal by right hip. Lower down to forearms. 7-10 reps. Repeat on other leg.
Bring knee to chest and extend for 7-10 reps. Repeat on other leg.
Repeat stretch on other side. Can do more than once!
Do several times.
7-10 reps and repeat on other leg.
If you are not familiar with any of these poses and need explanation it is easy to “google” it (or send me a note!) – I probably don’t know or do all the poses perfectly, but at least I’m trying and it works for me. I’ve seen some of the exercises done with light weights (1-3#) in hand as your strength improves but the beauty of this type of workout is that you need no special equipment. You just use your body and its own resistance! Plus, I don’t really count. I just do what feels right and push a little bit to build strength.
WORK OUT AND ENJOY! No more sit, stand, kneel, stand!
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
I FOUND IT INTERESTING THAT THIS HERB IS USED FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE HAVING HAD A MOTHER WITH THE DISEASE. PLUS I AM FAST APPROACHING DEMENTIA AT TIMES MYSELF!
Please keep in mind there is no scientific evidence that this herb actually works with the diseases below, however, many people do reach to alternative medicine for relief. PLEASE REFERENCE USING DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS SAFELY
- Amazon rain forest
Medicinal parts used
- The inner bark
- Viral diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and herpes
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Immune system support
How it works
- The active constituents are variable and depend upon the time of the year when the plant is harvested
- Anti-inflammatory activity mainly because of the glycosides present in the plant
- Immunostimulating properties enhance the function of white blood cells to attack and digest carcinogenic substances and harmful microorganisms, which may inhibit the growth of cancer cells and tumors
- Although the reasons are not all known, it is believed that chemicals in cat’s claw block the production of substances, such as prostaglandins and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, which are involved in inflammation
Side effects and warnings
- Is generally regarded as safe
- Do not use in individuals with skin grafts or tuberculosis
- Do not give to people who are receiving organ transplants
- Do not use during pregnancy or lactation
- Do not combine with hormonal drugs, insulin, and vaccines
- Is contraindicated in those suffering from coagulation disorders, tuberculosis, and autoimmune diseases
- Do not take with drugs that suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporine, Imuran®, Prograf®, Zenapax®
- May potentiate the effects of antihypertensive drugs
- Usual recommended dosage: 250−1000 milligrams (mg)/day of commercial preparation
- Dry extracts: 20−60 mg/day
References and recommended readings
Drugs.com. Cat’s claw.
Available at: http://www.drugs.com/npp/cat-s-claw.html.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Cat’s claw.
Available at: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/catclaw/.
Bountiful and Delicious: Healthy Harvest Foods
Bring Color and Nutrition to the Table
When you think of autumn, you most likely envision the beautiful orange, yellow, and red hues of the season. Stroll down the produce aisle of your neighborhood grocery store and discover those same vibrant colors in the form of seasonal vegetables and fruits, such as pumpkins, squash, and apples. Best of all, these harvest foods also are packed with nutritional value. Encourage those you care for to try some new and different varieties of fall produce this year, and give them the gift of health along the way!
Winter squash and pumpkins
Winter squash and pumpkins (both members of the gourd family) come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. They are becoming increasingly popular because of their versatile use in both sweet and savory recipes, and they are good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Pumpkins are especially good sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin (an antioxidant), vitamin C, riboflavin, and iron. Cooking pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins) are delicious in pies, cookies, custards, and soups. Their seeds are easily toasted for a crunchy high-fiber snack.
The seeds are great when eaten by the handful or added to fruit and vegetable salads. Pumpkin and squash seeds contain:
- Vitamins, including:
- Minerals, including:
I TOAST THEM ON A COOKIE SHEET SPRAYED WITH NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY AND SPRINKLE A LITTLE SEA SALT ON TOP!
Bright orange and yellow squash
Bright orange and yellow squash contain significant amounts of carotenes, as well as some lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants). Butternut squash is good sliced, stewed, boiled, or baked in a pie. It is a particularly good source of calcium, magnesium, and carotenes. Spaghetti squash makes a wonderful casserole or side dish. Try it with tomato sauce in place of traditional spaghetti. Acorn and Hubbard squash are particularly good sources of potassium and fiber. Acorn squash also is high in thiamine.
Apples come in countless varieties, each with its own color, flavor, and texture. While some types of apples such as Golden or Red Delicious are best for eating fresh and crisp, other varieties such as Crab, Bramley, and Jonathan apples are best for cooking in pies, cakes, crisps, and chutneys. Look for sauce, butter, pickle, and relish recipes that include apples. Apples are powerhouses of flavonoids, such as quercetin, as well as a great source of cholesterol-lowering phytosterols. Apples also are a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In addition, apples with skins are one of the best known sources of pectin—a type of soluble fiber shown to help reduce cholesterol. Try making tea by steeping oven-roasted and dried apple slices for an old-fashioned hot beverage.
RECIPE: BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH APPLES – VEGETARIAN AND GLUTEN FREE
Squash sections with seeds removed form small hollows that become natural containers for seasonings.
2-pound butternut squash
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or sliced almonds
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 red medium unpared all-purpose apple, chopped (about 1 cup)
Wash squash and pierce with tip of a sharp knife in several places to allow steam to escape. Place squash on paper towel in microwave oven. Microwave uncovered on high 4-6 minutes until squash is hot and rind is firm but easy to cut through; cool slightly. Carefully cut into halves; remove seeds. Arrange squash halves, cut sides down, on 10-inch plate. Cover tightly and microwave on high 5-8 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl. Cover tightly and microwave on high 1-2 minutes or until butter is melted and mixture is hot; stir. Cut squash halves in half. Spoon apple mixture over squash.
4 servings; 210 calories per serving.
Fruit and vegetable tips
- Thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruits, as you would any produce, before eating or cooking to destroy any bacteria and to remove any pesticides or herbicides from their surfaces
- Select produce without soft spots, blemishes, or cuts
- Eat fruits and vegetables fresh or lightly cooked to obtain the most nutrient value—avoid boiling when possible
- Experiment with a variety of spices, herbs, and cooking methods
Autumn’s cool weather and beautiful foliage is a call from nature to get outside, enjoy the scenery, and get physically active. One great event for fun family fitness is visiting a pumpkin patch and picking your own pumpkins and gourds. In addition, many pumpkin patch locations feature other activities, such as corn mazes and hayrides.
Find farm locations in your area that allow visitors to pick their own fruits and vegetables by watching your local newspaper or searching the Internet for more information. TRY pickyourown.org Whether picking apples, pears, squash, peppers, or sweet potatoes, this is great way to connect with nature, burn some calories, and come home with healthy, nutritious foods. Try canning to preserve your favorite varieties for the rest of the year, or grow your own harvest fruits and vegetables and enjoy eating them even more.
Dates on Foods: What Do They Mean?
Often people open up their refrigerators, cupboards, and cabinets only to find foods with questionable integrity. Some people trust their noses. Others look for visible signs of mold or deterioration. Figuring out the difference between the “expiration,” “sell by,” “use before,” and “use by” dates may leave some people scratching their heads.
While it is always better that you are safe rather than sorry, the following guidelines and information should help to take the guesswork out of determining whether or not your food is good to eat.
Sell by date
This is the date that is printed for the supermarket. If the item has not sold by this date, the store should remove it from the shelf. It still may remain safe for consumption, if eaten after the marked date. Depending on the food, you still can store these items in your home for days to weeks after the sell by date.
Best if used before or by
The best if used before or by date means the food has a guarantee of peak freshness by this date, if it is properly stored. After that date, it will still remain safe to consume for a while, although it will have a lesser quality of taste, flavor, or nutrition.
For an exhaustive list of how to manage foods, visit the following Web sites:
- Cold storage chart: (http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/food/cooking4groups/8.htm)
- Foods purchased refrigerated: (http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/food/cooking4groups/9.htm)
Follow this advice:
- Many times the expiration date has to do with the actual can and not the food inside of it; many foods will outlast the can, but if the can starts to lose its integrity before the food, the expiration date will reflect this
- If the can is dented at a double seam on the top or bottom of the can, throw it away immediately
- If the can has rust on it, throw it away
- If the can has a severe dent on the side that pulls the top or bottom of the can, throw it out
- If the can is swollen, do not consume its contents
The only foods that are mandated by the US Dept of Agriculture to include dating requirements are infant formula and baby food. Many foods do not have any date or indication of freshness to determine whether they are safe to consume. Some foods use a different system called Julian dates, whereby the month is indicated by a number or a letter and the year is represented with only one number, representing the last number of the year it was produced (for example, 2009 is marked as a 9).
While following these guidelines can alleviate some of the confusion about whether a food is safe or not, the best advice probably is “when in doubt, throw it out!”
LAST POST FOR SEPTEMBER: FOOD SAFETY MONTH!
Adapted from Alyssa Shaffer; Photographs by Dorit Thies
Lose Weight with Yoga
How much can yoga really do for you? A lot. This is a total-body routine that is a mind and body booster. The workout is built around the classic sun salutation series, with challenging core and upper- and lower-body variations added for a fat-blasting twist. Do the entire sequence four to five times through (keep at it for an hour) and you’ll burn off the calorie equivalent of a banana split while sculpting your arms, chest, abs, butt, and legs and improving your flexibility.
How it works: Start and finish each circuit with a sun salutation, a four-move series done forward and in reverse that is the foundation of the workout. Every time you do this main series, you’ll add a challenging variation to keep your heart rate elevated while toning your whole body. Each sun salutation, plus all of our variations, should take about 15 minutes.
Sun Salutation (Main Series)
Mountain Pose Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides. Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.
Standing Forward Bend From mountain pose, exhale, sweeping your arms sideways as you swan dive forward, bending at hips, until fingertips or palms reach the ground on either side of your feet; keep fingers in line with toes. (If your hamstrings or back are tight, bend your knees.) Think about drawing the crown of your head down and the backs of your legs toward the sky.
Forward Bend, Flat Back From standing forward bend, keep feet together and place fingertips on ground near outer edges of your feet, in line with your toes. Inhale as you lift your torso halfway up, keeping your back flat. Look forward, reaching your tailbone away from the top of your head. If you feel tight in your hamstrings or lower back or can’t reach the ground, bend your knees and place your hands on your shins.
Downward Dog From forward bend with flat back, bend knees, place palms flat on ground shoulder-width apart, and jump both feet back, landing softly in downward dog. Spread your fingers and make sure your feet are hip-width apart and parallel. Reach your tailbone up and away from hands and your heels toward the ground.
5. Reverse this series back to the start Bring your legs toward your hands and straighten legs, returning to forward bend with flat back. Drop your head and return to standing forward bend, then to mountain pose, sweeping arms out to the sides and overhead to complete the main series.
Build Your Workout Each time you complete the sunsalutation, add on a new challenge series until you’ve incorporated all the moves. Each full sequence will take about 15 minutes; do 4 to 5 times.
Add On: Half Push-Up Series
Tabletop to Half Push-Up From downward dog, get on all fours, aligning your knees on the ground under hips and your hands directly below shoulders (not shown). Keeping abs pulled in and head aligned with your spine, bend elbows about 45 degrees in a half push-up, arms close to sides. Straighten arms; repeat push-up 4 to 6 times.
Extended Child’s Pose From half push-up, straighten arms and bring your tailbone back toward heels, resting the backs of your thighs on your calves. Hold for a few breaths, feeling the stretch through your back and shoulders. Return from child’s pose to tabletop, then back to downward dog; do the remainder of the main series in reverse.
Add On: Lunge Jump
Do the half push-up series, returning to downward dog. Step left leg forward between hands, bending left knee 90 degrees while keeping right leg straight. Hold for a few breaths, then switch legs, jumping left leg back and right leg forward. Repeat 4 to 6 times. Return to downward dog and reverse the main series back to the start.
Add On: Warrior Series
Warrior 1 with High Lunge Do the main series, adding on both half push-up and lunge jump, ending in downward dog. From here, step left foot forward between hands, bending left knee 90 degrees with toes facing forward; keep right leg straight and lift upper body. Raise arms overhead next to ears; hold for 3 to 5 breaths.
Straighten left leg while lowering arms; keep palms in and right heel lifted. Repeat 4 to 6 times. Return to warrior 1, then to downward dog; repeat on opposite side, ending in downward dog. Reverse the main series back to start.
Add On: Chair with Twist
Do the main series plus each of the previous add-ons one time through, ending in mountain pose with arms raised. From here, bend your knees, pushing your butt back.
Bring palms together in front of chest and bend forward, pressing right upper arm against outside of left thigh as you twist your upper body to the left. Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, then come back to center and twist to the right. Continue alternating sides, 4 to 6 times in each direction, then return to a standing position.
YEAH!! YOU DID IT!!
I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND BEGINNER POSES BEFORE MOVING ONWARD AND UPWARD – I’M PRETTY FIT AND SOME OF THESE INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED POSES I’M FINDING TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE! I’M CALLING MY YOGA POSES WET DOG, THE OLD CROW AND THE PLUNGE!! BUT THESE CAN BE MASTERED – WORK AT IT GRADUALLY!
Downward Dog: Beginner
- Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
- Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
- Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
- Hold for 3 full breaths.
Downward Dog: Intermediate
- Start in beginner position.
- Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
- Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then lift one leg toward the ceiling and hold for 3 full breaths; keep hips level.
- Lower; switch legs and repeat.
Downward Dog: Advanced
- Start in beginner position. Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
- Walk your feet together and lift one leg toward the ceiling.
- Press your palms and other heel into the mat. Once stable, slowly lift your opposite hand and hold for 3 full breaths.
- Lower; switch sides and repeat.
The Crow: Beginner
Get into downward dog position (palms pressed into mat, feet hip-width apart) and walk feet forward until knees touch your arms.
Bend your elbows, lift heels off floor, and rest knees against the outside of your upper arms. Keep toes on floor, abs engaged and legs pressed against arms. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
The Crow: Intermediate
- From beginner position, squeeze your inner thighs to lift heels off floor.
- With fingers spread wide, slowly move body forward until your weight is balanced over your hands.
- Draw abs inward (as if pulling belly button to spine) to lift your hips up higher, keeping your face forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
The Crow: Advanced
- Start in the beginner position and slowly move into the intermediate pose.
- As your upper body tilts forward, begin lifting your right leg toward the ceiling.
- Squeeze your glutes, spread out your toes, and hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
- Lower; switch legs and repeat.
The Lunge: Beginner
- Start in downward dog position. Step your right leg forward to the inside of your right hand.
- Drop your left knee to the floor and lift your chest up. Keeping your right knee in line with your ankle and your back straight, place hands on your knee. Hold for 10 breaths.
The Lunge: Intermediate
- From beginner pose, press into the ball of your back foot and lift into a standing lunge.
- Straighten back leg, place heel down on floor, and turn foot out a few inches. Lift arms toward ceiling (Warrior I). Spread your fingers, turn palms in, and open up chest. Hold for 10 breaths.
- Switch legs; repeat.
The Lunge: Advanced
- From lunge position, hinge your upper body forward from the hips and slowly lift your back leg while straightening your front leg.
- Stop when your back is flat and your entire body is parallel to the floor (Warrior III). Balance here for 10 breaths.
- Lower; switch legs and repeat.
ARE YOU FEELING THE LOVE?