Archive for May, 2012

Unplugged

May 31st, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I’ve turned into a chronic forgetter of late. This time I forgot my ear plugs that I use when travelling by air to get my comedy and movie fix. What gives?!

This diverted me to do some reading then have some quiet time with my thoughts for the 5-hour flight. Hmmmm. Thinking time is such a novelty these days. Our systems are constantly bombarded with bad news, cuckoo commercials (seen that “No No” hair removal one a few too many times?), constant music – oh the noise, noise, noise, noise, noise!

I felt treated to this quiet time. I have recently redrafted that manuscript that will be released this fall on Amazon, so it was nice to contemplate my next steps as I approach the finish line of this project. I had time to think about family, work, golf, what to write next on T & T and nothing. Empty time really fills me up. I even took a little nap – how sweet.

I think the policy makers should make a law that all of the people in the land have some down time every dang day to just pull it together. Hmmm good food for thought, that’s for sure.

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Lou’s Food Revolution Guacamole & Say Ole!

May 30th, 2012 1 Comment Tags:

My sister Lou from the south and me must’ve been in the same “food zone” with avocados on the brain. She made this recipe on the weekend and sent it to me to share with you. She said it’s so dang good it’s unbelievable!

Ingredients
4 avocados pared and cubed
1/3 real lemon or lime juice (or lime)
1 tomato was pared and chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
cilantro chopped to your liking

Instructions
Prepare all of the ingredients and combine well in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until it’s ready to serve.

Commentary
Lou says this tastes better when the avocado is in pieces rather than mashing it. Chunky is the word of the day here. She serves ‘em up with whole grain nacho chips then noshes away. Consider also serving this with corn salsa and black beans. Sounds like a winner to me, enjoy!

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Put Your Best Food Forward – Avocado

May 29th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I’m a lover of avocados. They put the ole in guacamole! A food for the taste seeking god that’s for sure.

Avocados are given a bad wrap sometimes as a fruit that is inherently high in fat. Yes they do have fat in them; however, our body needs fat and healthy ones at that, so get a grip. These naturally nutrient rich gems are bursting with monounsaturated fat that have a positive effect on your blood lipid profile by lowering LDL and triglicerides while raising the good cholesterol HDL’s further. Hmmm a triple sow cow of benefits!

I never tasted an avocado I didn’t love especially as guacamole, cut up in wraps, sandwiches or in salads. The best guacamole I ever tried was at a restaurant called the Mission in Arizona. They made it at our table. I’ve been on a mission to perfect the recipe ever since.

Include avocados in your diet guilt free. They are a naturally nutrient rich emerald of a fruit. Enjoy!

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Feeling Small

May 26th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I love how the likes of Mother Nature brings us down to size when we stand up to her. I found myself back in Kelowna BC recently and took in the springtime pleasures – Ogo-Pogo, Lake Okanagan, Knox Mountain, the valley and more. Being out here makes me want to “go outside and play” and not come in even after the street lights come on.

Nature that’s so in your face it’s mesmerizing. I recently read an article that touted many additional benefits of getting active outdoors outside of the myriad of those we already knew. Scientists found that even the immunological elements in your blood improve, which brings the whole notion of those “healing ways of Mother Nature” to a whole new level.

Really folks I’m never one to listen to excuses of why not to exercise outside even on the coldest days of the year. But this time of year it’s a no brainer to get active outside 60 minutes a day if you can. The dust bunnies inside can wait while you’re digging in your garden or taking an after dinner walk in the sunshine or a family bike ride on the weekend. If you’re not active already, it’s a perfect time of year to start this new habit that we can work on sustaining every season.

Get one with nature. Get up close and personal. Get silent and take it all in. Mother Nature will bring you down to size in her awesome wonder – the best way to be brought down to size of all!

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Pump UP Your Workout Intensity, Want an APP for That?

May 23rd, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

Don’t you find that some groovin’ music just cannot keep you standing still? When DJ Rouge spins George Michael’s Too Funky, ZZ Top’s She’s Got Legs or U2′s Vertigo the dance party gets started, ready or not. Surely this is one strategy Earnest Ainsley could use to get followers to get up, at it and cured!

Some research shows that listening to certain music during exercise can increase your endurance by 15% – hoo haaa! This boost can mean better results for professional athletes and weekend warriors alike.

Dairy Farmers of Canada recently released its Recharge Radio workout app, a set of five customizable playlists designed to increase the endurance and enjoyment of your workout. Recharge Radio is the latest innovation in DFC’s Recharge with Milk program dedicated to educating athletes about the post-workout recovery benefits of chocolate milk with an app to pump it. How novel is that? VERY!

To get your hands on these visit www.RechargeWithMilk.ca

“People enjoy working out more when they are listening to their favourite songs,” said Dr. Len Kravitz, professor of Exercise Science at the University of New Mexico. “Music provides us with exercise gains, which can increase endurance, strength or speed and make a workout better. It’s great that people can download the Recharge Radio app and take their workout to the next level.” Just listen to the other Lenny Kravitz’s Lady and your exercise intensity will surely heat up!

Hmmm I’m taking an hour-long walk up a mountain today so could use a boost. Maybe a little Black Eyed Peas can play to Phunk with My Heart will propel me up while Nelly Furtado’s Forca will get me back down…

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Take Heed of the Tube Feed – A New Diet?

May 22nd, 2012 No Comments Tags: ,

It would seem I’m on a roll with my ranting and raving about what’s going on in the news and world lately. The news story a few weeks ago took the cake. As I was waking up sipping my dopio espresso nibbling on my porridge leafing through the paper I stopped in my tracks seeing a pictures of a 20-something aged woman with a nasogastric tube sticking out of her nose. I thought, “hmmm what could be her problem?”

I used to be a clinical dietitian and would need to rely on suggesting “tube feeding” for people who cannot eat enough to sustain themselves. No not this gal; however, she was trying to lose weight to fit into her wedding dress. What did I say about this world, that’s is a mad mad mad mad mad mad world? Now I know it’s true. As if I needed a confirmation, good grief.

Time to give this gal and anyone considering it as a weight loss measure a brain scan. Sure there’s a nut in the wrong place… Alas, I don’t think anything would show up because of the empty space. What gives?! Has your mouth stopped working lady?? I have known thousands of people reliant on tube feeding because of illness and would give their eye teeth to be able to get off using this feeding method, and there’s an able bodied doe-head using it to lose weight. Oy veh. Now I’ve seen everything.

I can just see the enteral feeding industry rubbing their hands together with this as a potential new market for them. Who would have thunk modestly overweight people’d become so dumb and desperate at the same time?

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Food Revolution Mother Dearest’s MmmMm Meatloaf

May 21st, 2012 No Comments Tags:

Had dinner at Mother Dearest’s a little while ago and was treated to some of her tasty secret recipes – mMmm. I told her that at 82 years old, it’s time she start let the cat out of the bag and share her secrets. She obliged this time!

Ingredients

1 lb extra lean ground beef and

1/2 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 stalks of celery cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup onions
3/4 cup of quick cooking oats
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1.5 tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten
3 Tbsp water or milk 

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a skillet over medium heat add chopped celery and onion, cook, stirring until tender for about 8 minutes. In a large bowl combine meat, oats, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, beaten egg, celery, onion and water. Make it into a loaf shape then put it into a  9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Bake at 375 degree F for at least 1 hour, until done. Cool for a few minutes then serve.
 

Commentary

Mother Dearest tells me that you can use all lean ground beef if you prefer not to use pork as it works out swimmingly. Using all extra lean beef ends up being pretty dry so nix that idea. She also admitted to using more onions, so take note. Because taste is king, follow her orders. I plan on trying this as is – why change a good thing. Use 2 spatulas to lift meat loaf out of pan.
This makes a tasty main course with side veggies and perfect leftovers for lunches. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Enjoy!
By the way May 19th was declared “Food Revolution Day” by Jaime Oliver. I say that we should make every day a food revolution of sorts. It can all start with you :-)

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Long Weekend Land-mines

May 18th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , ,

Ahhhh it’s that time of year again when the long weekends are upon us and the living is easy. Life according to those beer commercials is simple, just take that jump off the rock into the lake. Ya right. A lot of planning goes into these weekends and if you want to come out the other side relatively unscathed where your eating is concerned, planning is essential. Here are some words of wisdom to help you maximize your enjoyment and minimize post weekend gains. Take stock.

Be Realistic – in making your goals for the long weekend. If you honestly think you’ll be nibbling on Wasa crackers, cherries and yoghurt for the next few days give your head a shake. When the Dove bars find their way down to the dock, you might throw all caution to the wind and blow your unrealistic plans out your ear. It’s all about finding balance in partaking is some of the indulgences without totally indulgence.

Be Prepared – just like a Girl Guides without the hideous uniform! If you’re heading away with a group, take some control by bringing food you enjoy, that still fit into your regimen. If you’re too extreme, the saboteurs will be all over you like white on rice.

Find Your Center – by finding some quiet time. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of finding solitude amongst all the noise and flurry of activity even if you find yourself at a quiet lake. I don’t care where you find it – in the woods, in the out-house, in the car, in the lake or in your room. Doing this helps you plan, cool your head, regroup and relax.

Think Before you Pour – when happy hour begins. For some, every hour is happy hour, it would seem. It’s nice to partake in the fun, but remember drinks, especially alcohol have calories too. Say hands down to bottoms up occasionally and work in some bubbly….mineral water that is.

Take a Jump in the Lake – and do some activities YOU enjoy. Are you the one who does all the planning for everyone?? It’s your long weekend too. I’m sure unless you have little kiddies under foot your group can work out the party hearty without your 2 cents worth day in and day out. How on earth do they survive without you when they’re at school, at work, etc?? Trust me, they just do. Relinquish some of your power and take the reigns to enjoy yourself.

Keep it Real – with the activities you plan to partake in, whether it’s rock climbing, water skiing, hiking, etc. If you have a sedentary job like me scaling a rock might be a bit ambitious. You might end up with an injury or two which’ll set you 3 steps back on your exercise regimen. Just like landing on a snake on the Snakes and Ladders game of old. Trust me. For many of us those glory days are over doing barefoot water skiing, one handed. Keep your head and ego in check so you don’t have to crawl out of bed the next morning.

Tune in to Your Cues – with hunger and satiety occasionally. Ok it’ll probably be the last thing on your mind, but thinking about this once in a while might save you from polishing off the last of the Krispy Creams.

Get in the Drivers Seat – especially if you’re over 21 years old. If you blame others for your over indulgences think again. If it’s your hand going to your mouth with a fork attached, chances are you might be guilty as charged. This is often the case when emotional eating is involved by reverting back to some other place in time mentally. Eating too much won’t spite anyone else, but yourself. Take some extra quiet time to find your center.

You want your long weekend to begin and end with a big Whoooo-Hooo not a big Booo-Hooo with your stomach sticking out a country mile and your rings not fitting because you’re retaining too much water. Planning ahead makes good sense. You’ll be that much further ahead once the weekend’s over.

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Hair Apparent – ABC’s of Healthy Hair

May 16th, 2012 No Comments Tags: ,

Eating well and ensuring you get optimal nutrition is important from the inside out. A follicle of truth especially when it comes to the health of your hair. We might not think of our crowning glory as something we can improve on with good nutrition, but it certainly is true AND worth the effort.

Vitamin A – You’re Adorable
Getting your dark green veggies punches up your Vitamin A intake which helps as your hair’s natural conditioner.

Vitamin B – You’re so Beautiful
Foods loaded with B vitamins vary from whole grains, eggs, nuts, beans and peas and more. These slow down hair loss and encourages growth. As aging happens so does the amount of hair left in the hairbrush, it would seem?

Vitamin C – You’re a Creature full of Charm
Get those brightly coloured fruits plus broccoli to pump up the structure. Your hair’s proverbial weights.

Take heed of the nutrition your hair needs to get the most of your coif. Eating well helps your whole body, including the body of your hair.

Can this baby be any cuter? She’s pretty perfect from the inside out with the fountain on top – that’s for sure!

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Life’s Inconveniences

May 15th, 2012 No Comments Tags: , , ,

Humph, it was one of those Monday morning after a wine and fun filled weekend. Got up early to get a jumpstart on the day. Sky was blue, sun was beaming, a beautiful spring day. I wore my big stylish Hollywood sunglasses to cover those Samsonites under my eyes – evidence of all of the fun, now that I’m back to reality. I was feeling uggish, while the right arch on my foot was moaning. Other than that all was well, so it would seem.

Had an uneventful entry onto the subway, closed my eyes trying to catch extra winks before having to keep my eyes open for the duration of the day. Then an announcement comes on about a smoke investigation at a subway station half way to my destination and that we all needed to disembark and take busses – good grief. Like the Mama’s and the Papa’s sing “Monday, Monday, ta-da….not to good to me….” The train sat and sat and sat some more while the annoying announcement repeated, repeated and repeated some more. It left more questions than answers to those of us who didn’t have earplugs in our ears :-) One of the many benefits of travelling “ears free”.

Like cattle the weary co-tranistors got off only to stand in a sea of people with busses leaving the station empty with their “out of service” sign on with no staff in site or announcements of where to go. “I’d like to tell them where to go…” I huffed then one announcement ended “…thanks for taking the TTC”, right “thanks for nothing…” after which time they announce service had resumed and we the cattle proceeded back down for the second round of our trip, this time seatless while my blood pressure was in my boots. I felt like sparring with the little minx leaning on the pole I was holding onto. “One look at me little sister and I’m giving you what’s for…” For the love of peri-meno….

I exited at my stop and approached the stairs while the train zoomed in from the other direction. A big gust of wind propelled my long blazer behind me like Superwoman’s cape as my hair blew freely. Now ready to take on the world.

I got into my office with no one around with my project deadline bumped forward a few hours. Ahhh how do you spell relief? Then I thought if this is my biggest problem today, then it’s going to be a good Monday. I took off my caped cruisader goggles and got working.

And it was, a good day indeed!

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