Sunday, July 24, 2011


I want to say how sorry I am that I haven't posted to this site in so long. Today is the 1st time I've been able to get into the site since April. Thanks for your patience and I will be posting.

Martha A. Cheves, Author of
Stir, Laugh, Repeat
Think With Your Taste Buds - Desserts

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

10 Ways to Improve Your Memory

I found these tips on EveryDayHealth and wanted to share

1. Focus on what you're trying to remember. Take time to think about what you need to remember, whether it's a list of names, chores, or items to buy. Spending a few moments actively processing your thoughts can make it easier to recall what you need to remember in the future.

2. Link your list. Try to remember several things or ideas at once by linking them together in your mind. If you want to memorize your grocery list, for instance, connect the items you need together with a specific image or action in your head. Imagine you're in your laundry room holding a container of detergent, then walk into your kitchen to get some bread and milk, then move to the bathroom to replenish the toilet paper.

3. Personalize your list. Organize lists into short, manageable sections, and try to connect items to something that's easier for you to remember. Improve memory by linking lists of numbers, for example, to personally relevant dates like your birthday or interesting historical dates.

4. Create a visual image. If you're trying to remember someone's name, visualize an object that will help remind you in the future. Think of summer for a woman named June or a cat for someone named Catherine.

5. Create an acronym. Train your brain to remember items in a specific sequence by creating a word to represent the objects. Try using the first letter of each item on your shopping list to form a word. For instance, MOST can stand for milk, oranges, soap, toilet paper.

6. Use all of your senses to help improve memory. Afraid you're going to forget your next hair appointment or dinner with a friend? Verbally list your appointments out loud and then think about the softness of your hair after a salon visit and the aroma of the food at your favorite restaurant to help solidify the dates in your mind.

Boost your memory by eating right.

7. Write it down. Even if you don't actually use your list or a note to remind you of an appointment, simply writing the information down will help your brain retain it.

8. Create a rhyme. How did you learn the alphabet or the number of days in each month when you were little? You probably learned them with the help of a song or rhyme. Try doing the same thing with names, appointments, and lists.

9. Make it manageable. Organize a long list into shorter lists that are easier to remember. Instead of trying to remember a dozen different items, create four mini-lists with only three things you need to remember from each.

10. Be positive. Don't doubt yourself — our brains can often do more than we realize. Regularly practice these tips to help improve memory, and you'll be amazed by how much more you can remember.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Slow Metabolisms

I found this quite interesting and wanted to share.

LOSING IT! With Jillian Michaels

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Too many lazy years: You've spent a lot of time on the couch. Don't blame your lagging metabolism just because you never exercised.

Too many yo-yo diets: Instead of maintaining a stable weight, you've developed a frustrating up-and-down weight-loss pattern. You know the drill: You've repeatedly gone on extreme diets and lost weight, then you've slipped back into your old ways of eating and regained that weight.

Too many of the same foods, all processed: You've consumed frankenfoods that your body doesn't recognize as real food — because they're not!

Too many pesticides in our food: Some farmers spray harmful pesticides on our food, and you've chosen those over organic foods.

Too many toxins in our environment: More than 100,000 synthetic chemicals have been registered for commercial use — with 2,000 more added each year — but very few of them have been tested adequately for toxicity. You've been exposed to many synthetic chemicals in products in and around your home.

Too many bad bugs — and not enough good ones: You've tried to rid yourselves of pests with an onslaught of antibacterial products, which is pointless and not beneficial for the healthy functioning of your immune system.

Too many hours at work — and not enough in bed: You've let yourself get stressed out. Stress is like kryptonite for your hormones — even just a bit of it can throw them entirely out of whack.

Too many pharmaceuticals — even in our water: You've taken prescriptions dashed off by your doctor and haven't always checked out how they might interact with certain herbs, vitamins, or other supplements or prescriptions. All these pharmaceuticals could have a serious impact on your hormonal health.

Too many cigarettes: You've ignored all the medical findings on the damage smoking can cause. Smoking negatively impacts endocrine glands, which produce hormones, in addition to pretty much every cell in your body.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fat Burning Foods & Drinks

I ran across an article that listed the top 15 fat burning foods/drinks and decided to share them with everyone.

Grapefruit: Half a grapefruit prior to dinner can help fill you enough that you can resist second helpings. Also, the soluble fiber in grapefruit slows down the digestion process.

Watermelon: The water from watermelon invades the space that your stomach leaves open for food, thus making you less likely to pig out. Apples and pears produce a similar result, too.

Berries: Instead of a cookie, pop some blackberries or strawberries into your mouth. Frozen blueberries also provide the illusion of enjoying a cold, high-calorie treat.

Cucumber: Cucumber has very few calories and helps to stave off liver disease and pancreatic cancer, and even keeps your nails looking amazing due to the high mineral content.

Hot peppers: Although they haven’t been directly linked to weight loss, spicy habaneros or jalapeños aid in curbing the desire to gorge since we typically eat less when our food has a fiery flavor. Hot peppers also comprise the compound capsaicin, which speeds up the metabolism.

Celery: It satisfies the need to eat something, but it has virtually no calories (one cup of celery equals only nineteen calories. Tip: instead of adding cream cheese or peanut butter to the stalk, give fat-free cottage cheese or fat-free black bean dip.

Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt keeps you satisfied longer because all proteins take their sweet time leaving your stomach.

Eggs: Start the day off right with seven grams of protein! Having an egg in the morning will keep your body busy because digesting eggs burns more calories than a carb-infested breakfast.

Fish: Full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Wild salmon, tuna, and sardines make your body more responsive to the fat-burning hormone leptin, which is responsible for suppressing your appetite? If you don't like fish, turkey can also help as it encourages the release of tryptophan, which helps you sleep. Remember: lack of sleep wreaks havoc on your waistline!

Green tea: Multiple studies have recommended green tea for when you’re trying to shed pounds because it can motivate the body to burn abdominal fat. Moreover, it is made up of a type of phytochemical called catechins, which can assist the metabolism.

Coffee: Its a metabolism booster.

Ice cold water: Drink eight to ten glasses of ice cold water a day to burn 250 to 500 calories! Your body goes into overdrive trying to heat the water back up to your normal body temperature.

Quinoa: A great substitute for rice because it is as simple to prepare and possesses the same oddly satisfying quality as rice. It has five grams of fiber per cup and eight grams of hunger-rejecting protein.

Oatmeal: Add cinnamon or nutmeg to give your fiber-rich hot cereal a dash of sweetness. A hot bowl of oatmeal will make you feel full and keep you hydrated.

Crispbreads: Whole grains, as opposed to refined grains, such as those found in rye crackers, are the key to keeping belly fat at bay.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Foods and Health Tips

A friend sent a list of foods that are supposed to help different alignments. Some of you may already know these, some of you may have already tried them. I personally had never heard of most of them and haven’t tried any. So here we go.

1. Head Aches – Eat plenty of fish. Fish oil helps prevent headaches. So does ginger which reduces inflammation and pain.

2. To help prevent strokes drink tea. It helps to prevent buildup of fatty deposits on artery walls. In some cases it even suppresses the appetite and green tea is good for the immune system.

3. Can’t Sleep? Use honey as a tranquilizer and sedative.

4. Asthma – Eat onions. They help ease constriction of bronchial tubes. Years ago mothers made onion packs to place on the chest to help respiratory ailments and make breathing easier.

5. Arthritis – Eat fish. Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines help prevent arthritis. Fish has omega oils which are good for the immune system.

6. Upset Stomachs – Bananas will settle an upset stomach. Ginger will cure morning sickness and nausea.

7. Bladder Infections – Drink cranberry juice. It’s high-acid helps control harmful bacteria.

8. Bone Problems – Eat pineapple. Bone fractures and osteoporosis can be helped by the manganese in pineapple.

9. Memory Problems – Oysters – they help improve your mental functioning by supplying much needed zinc.

10. Colds – Eat garlic. It clears up a stuffy head and also helps with lowering cholesterol.

11. Coughing – Use red peppers. A substance similar to that found in cough syrups is found in hot red peppers such as cayenne. Just use with caution so you don’t irritate your stomach.

12. Breast Cancer – To lower your chance of breast cancer, eat wheat, bran and cabbage. These help the body maintain estrogen at a healthy level.

13. Ulcers – Again, cabbage. It contains chemicals that help heal both gastric and duodenal ulcers.

14. Diarrhea – Apples. Grate an apple with its skin, let it turn brown and eat it to cure diarrhea. Bananas are also good for this ailment.

15. Clogged Arteries – Eat Avocados. Mono unsaturated fat in avocados lowers cholesterol.

16. High Blood Pressure – Eat celery and Olive Oil. Both have been shown to lower blood pressure.

17. Blood Sugar Imbalance – Broccoli and peanuts. The chromium in broccoli and peanuts help regulate insulin and blood sugar.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Filling Food to Speed Weight Loss

I received this article from a site called Living with Diabetes. This is not only true for diabetics but for any of us trying to loose weight.

Learn which foods fight hunger by keeping you feeling full longer.

It's the dieter's worst enemy — that gnawing hunger when you're trying to eat less and lose weight.

But fighting off those feelings of hunger could be as simple as a walk to the nearest soup and salad bar for lunch. Here's how you can make food choices that will keep you feeling full and help prevent the hunger pangs that lead to diet-busting snacks or binges.

Food Strategies For Losing Weight

If you want to feel full all day on less food, focus on these eating strategies:

  • Get enough lean protein and fiber. A study of 22 men who changed the amount of protein in their diets for 18-day periods showed that those who ate the least protein were the most likely to report being hungry. "Protein is the number one thing to help you feel full," says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center. "The second thing is fiber."
  • Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Researchers tracked the weight-loss success of 71 obese women between 20 and 60 years of age on a low-fat diet. Half of the women were also told to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. At the end of one year, both groups of women had lost weight, but the women who ate the most fruits and veggies reported the greatest weight loss and were less likely to say they felt hungry on any given day. In fact, when the researchers crunched the data, they found that whether the women reported feeling hungry frequently predicted their ability to lose weight. Other studies have shown that changing your eating habits to focus on these water- and fiber-rich foods will help you maintain weight loss for up to six years.
  • Sip soup. Adding two low-calorie soups to your diet every day could stave off hunger pangs and keep you satisfied longer. Choose soups that are broth-based, not cream-based, to reduce the calorie count; also look for soups that are low in sodium. Consider chunky, pureed vegetable soups, as they have been shown to produce the most lasting full feeling. Timing your soup so that you have it before a meal also reduces the amount you eat at that meal by about 20 percent, according to a study of 53 overweight adults.
  • Eat whole grains. A serving of whole grains will stick with you longer than a serving of refined wheat bread or any other refined flour product, for that matter. Most refined flour is white and often bleached.
  • Pick "airy" snacks. If you must snack and you don't have a piece of fruit or a veggie tray on hand, choose the snack food that has more air in it — think cheese puffs instead of potato chips, rice cakes instead of cookies. You will feel just as full as you would if you ate the same serving size of another snack, but you will consume fewer calories on average.

Another way to fight off hunger is to develop a "low-energy density" eating plan. This means that you can eat a large quantity of foods that do not have a high calorie count. Learning about portion sizes and counting calories is one way to approach this, but you can also try the plate method, which dictates that half your plate be full of veggies, one-quarter dedicated to a starch (preferably whole grain), and one-quarter to a lean protein.

And speaking of plates, it's worth noting that a study of 45 adults demonstrated that the oft-repeated advice to eat on a smaller plate if you want to feel like you have more food in front of you actually has no effect on the amount you eat at a meal (if you are serving yourself) or your feeling of being full.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Brown Rice Pasta with Apples

3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled & cubed
1/2 cup Ideal brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. spice (your choice. I used apple pie spice)
1 cup uncooked brown rice pasta
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

In a medium size pan cook apples, Ideal brown sugar, butter, pecans and spice until apples are tender. Cook pasta according to package. Drain and rinse pasta. Pour into apple mixture and toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 6.

This idea came to me after a friend told me about a dessert recipe made with pasta. I've never had "sweet" pasta and the idea didn't really appeal to me. I had 3 Granny Smith apples that needed to be used or they would go to waste and when I started thinking of ways to cook them I decided stewing would be the best. Then I spotted a box of brown rice penne that was staring at me from it's shelf in the cabinet. What did I have to loose? That's how I came up with the above recipe. I simply decided to "Think With My Taste Buds."

After making this dish I did what I always do which is serve it to some of my food testers. It was sampled by 5 testers. Four gave it a 10 with one of them actually eating 3 servings. Only one didn't like the dish but as she said, it's the concept of eating "sweet" pasta. All in all, this turned out to be a really good dish and a healthy one too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holidays and Diabetics

Below are some tips, that are not only good for diabetics, but for all of us. I hope they will help make your holidays healthier.

Holiday Help for Diabetics

1. Prepare a dish for the party - consider bringing your own festive, seasonal dish for everyone to enjoy. This will not only allow you to have a dish you know is within your diet but it also allows others to see just easily foods can be converted and still be delicious.

2. Drink in moderation. Alcohol and diabetes can be a dangerous mix if you aren't careful. Drinking on an empty stomach directly after administering insulin or shortly after taking glucose-lowering medications can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a condition that can cause confusion, dizziness, or even loss of consciousness. (These are also symptoms of drinking too much.)

Be vigilant about only drinking with food to slow the absorption of alcohol, and be sure not to exceed the American Diabetes Association's recommended amounts of alcohol: one drink a day for women and two a day for men. Also, people with complications stemming from diabetes, such as neuropathy (nerve damage) and high triglycerides (fats that circulate in the blood), should speak with their doctor about whether they should abstain from alcohol altogether. Finally, if you're taking medications to control diabetes, check with your doctor or pharmacist about whether the two can be safely mixed.

3. Stress less. For some, the frenzy of the holidays causes stress. And stress, while harmful for healthy people, is particularly detrimental for those with diabetes. Hormones released in response to stress may inhibit the body's ability to produce insulin, which, in turn, causes blood-sugar levels to soar. Manage your anxiety by carving out time for a relaxing activity — something as simple as flipping through a magazine or taking a walk may be enough — and prioritizing your "to do" list so you don't take on too much at once.

4. Get enough exercise. The time constraints of the holidays can make squeezing in a workout a challenge. Still, getting regular and consistent exercise — a minimum of 20 minutes of cardio interval training or core exercises most days of the week — is especially important if you have diabetes. If you're really pressed for time, make several short bouts of activity the goal.

5. Monitor your condition. Making healthy eating decisions is important for weight loss and maintenance, but as a diabetic it's especially important to make other healthy choices to maintain your blood-sugar levels. As always, be sure to monitor your blood sugar — especially before and after a big holiday meal — to ensure it's in the optimal range.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Scrambled Eggs with Cheese

2 tsp. olive oil

1 whole egg

4 egg whites

1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese

Dash of Tabasco sauce

Fresh ground black pepper

Lightly beat together egg, egg whites, tobacco and black pepper. Fold in cottage cheese. In a sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil. When hot add egg mixture. Cook eggs until firm but still moist. Serve with fresh fruit. Makes 2 servings.

Nutritional Info.

Calories 132; total fat 7 grams; saturated fat 1 gram; % calories from fat 49%; cholesterol 92 mg; carbohydrate 2 grams; protein 14 grams; fiber 0 grams

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Diabetic Apple Pie

One or two pie crusts for 9 inch pie
8 medium apples
1/2 c Splenda or 1/4 c Sweet n Low
1/2 c dried raisins or cranberries
Peel and slice the apples; line the first layer in pie crust. Sprinkle with half the dried fruit and half the sweetner.
Repeat with second layer of apples, dried fruit and sweetner. Top with pie crust or nutty crumb topping.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Recipe submitted by Melanie Read
Author of Face of Destiny