Monday, April 18, 2011

Complete Reboot

I am working on a complete makeover of this blog in anticipation of some life changes.  This will happen over the next week or so.  This will still be a great place for healthy lifestyle ideas, but I am expanding to include new content.

Thanks for your patience,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oops, I broke my blog

Yep.  I changed a security setting and the next thing you know, BAM, broken. Ugh.  The sad part?  I didn't know until a few days ago.

It's a long story, but suffice it to say, I have some blogs to recreate and a fresh start to make.  It will teach me to fiddle with something that was just fine.

Starting tomorrow, with the oops corrected, I will give you fresh blogs and push through the old ones to see if they are worth saving.

Yours in Health,

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Comfort Food - Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

It's the weekend and with more snow in the forecast and a cold snap on the way next week, we could all use a little comfort.  Frankly, potatoes are calorie heavy as a rule, but you can make the mashed variety healthier and at least not pour on the fat.  (Read, no gravy.)  Fried chicken is pretty bad for you, no matter what.  But if you don't really fry it, use chicken breasts instead of dark meat and keep the breading lighter, you have a fighting chance.

This recipe is from Eating Better America and is called "Healthified Mashed Potatoes".  It's called such because it cuts out the butter and adds heart healthy olive oil in its place, which I had never tried before. Then they keep it simple with salt and pepper and fresh chives.  Nice job!

As for the "Fried Chicken", I LOVE the folks at "America's Test Kitchen"!  They try all the techniques, so you don't have to.  In fact, if you ever want a no-fail recipe, go here.  There is a membership fee, but if you are a serious cook or just starting to learn, this site is unbelievable.

As for a recipe, I will let you choose what fits your fancy.  However, these are the tips from America's Test Kitchen for getting it to come out as closed to tasting 'fried' as possible:

Oven-Fried Chicken

Crunchy-coated, tender, juicy fried chicken is utterly irresistible, but it can be a real pain to prepare. There’s the multi-step breading to contend with, and then there’s all that hot, spattering oil. We wanted to mimic the best of fried chicken with a minimum of fuss, and bake it, not fry it. Here’s what we discovered:

Test Kitchen Discoveries

  • Marinate the chicken in highly seasoned buttermilk flavored with mustard, garlic powder, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce. Soak the chicken for at least one hour, or even better, overnight, so that the flavors have a chance to penetrate deep into the meat.
  • Use a blend of corn flakes and breadcrumbs for the crispest coating. Seasoned heavily with spices and lightly coated with oil, the coating bakes up as crisp as a deep-fried crust.
  • Bake the chicken in a hot (400-degree) oven on a wire rack set on a baking sheet. The rack allows hot air to circulate beneath the chicken so that all sides of the pieces become crisp.
  • Traditional homemade fried chicken has 552 calories, 34 grams of fat, and 10 grams of saturated fat per serving. Cook’s Country Oven-Fried Chicken has 216 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 4 grams of saturated fat per serving.

Nice calorie savings, huh?  We have tried this at home, very tasty and crispy.  And that's coming from a girl that used to love the Colonel's extra crispy!

Yours in Health,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Get Fidgeting!

I was going to write this fabulous blog on how fidgeting can help you lose weight.  It's true, your tendency of pacing instead of standing still or bobbing your leg when typing can help you burn more calories.

If you wear a calorie burning monitor, you can prove this yourself.  Set aside two days in a row with the same basic planned activities.  Except on one of the days be as still as you can in between your work, chores or exercise.  On the other day, fidget in any way you can think of.  You will find a noticeable difference in calories burned.  Probably between 100 to 350 more calories burned on that day.  It may not seem like much, but when you add it up over the year, it's pounds lost, for very little work.

The reason I say I WAS going to write about this, is because someone else has done it better.  In fact, has even used one of the studies I was going to cite.  It's a great look at how a little can add up to a lot.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chiropractic, Give it a Crack

Okay, actually, that's a bit of a misnomer.  While you sometimes hear a 'cracking' noise when you are being adjusted by your chiropractor, it's actually harmless.  It's gases escaping the barriers surrounding your joints.

Because of noises like this or urban legends, I know there are people actually scared of chiropractors.  Worse yet, there are other doctors who warn away from seeking such care.  The former is lack of knowledge.  The latter often has to do with lack of knowledge as well, but also selfishness - they would rather you continue to come to them or let them do surgery, rather than find relief outside of their practice.

Chiropractic medicine offers a wonderful (non-surgical) alternative for relief of not just back and neck pain, but many other maladies with which you may afflicted.  That being said, I have never met a chiropractor who discouraged surgery for those who really needed it.  These doctors just want to make every effort to assist you and lessen the possibility of going under the knife.

Let me tell you about a my recent visit to the chiropractor.  After tweaking my back from a slide on the ice, within minutes I could barely walk.  It was a subtle slide, but it pushed both of my hips out of position.  While I was at the doctor, I decided to mention that my neck had felt stiff for quite a while.  A few adjustments and some therapy later and I was walking better and seems to be half an inch taller.

In truth?  I had been so misaligned that indeed I was standing taller!  And, the adjustment also spotlighted the fact that my misalignment was blocking several key glands that help monitor and maintain stress, weight gain and other things I have been struggling with.  I would never have known if I hadn't slid on the ice.

My story is just one example.  Chiropractors tend to be holistic, so not only do they look at your joints, they also consider other issues surrounding your overall health.  You see, being misaligned can cause: bad sleeping patterns; weight gain; increased pain from diseases like fibromyalgia and crohn's disease; migraines; achy feet; even personality changes.

I am not telling you to run out tomorrow to a chiropractor.  What I am saying is that if you are looking for relief from a long-term problem, this may be an alternative to 'just living with it'.  This website can help you find some other answers and a doctor if you decide you want to try a new option for relief.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow, Here We are Again

My deepest apologies for the lack of posting.  Friday I was running 200 miles an hour, working, seeing the chiropractor for my back/neck and then getting everything done in time to meet my mom for dinner and take her to Riverdance.

That makes two times in two weeks I have had my mother alone, it was so nice.  She updated me on her work with our family genealogy.  It seems I am related to Richard Nixon, Lucille Ball and a number of other big names on my grandfather's side of the family.  Now mind you, we are probably all related in the end, but it was fun to hear of my distant cousins.

As for Riverdance, WOW.  It was amazing watching them dance without moving their upper body.  And they don't appear to sweat or breathe heavily.  I am sure they do, but they make it look so easy.  Plus, I think they must all be double jointed, the way they swing there legs with such liquidity is astounding.  I guarantee I would pass out after five minutes of attempting to dance like them, never mind surviving a whole show.  But then, they are trained athletes.

As for the weekend, I was tired.  I slept in on Saturday and still took a nap in the afternoon.  Sunday was work and dinner at mom's and errands.  As well as getting my roomie ready to head north for an extended stay.  She is up helping a family member who is ill and with the storm coming we made the call she needed to leave Sunday night, obviously we nailed that one.

Anyway, I am back in the saddle with posting.  Expect useful important things as early as this afternoon.  Stay warm!

Yours in Health,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Butt Could Use a Good Laugh

And so could the rest of me.  You have heard that laughter is the best medicine?  Well, while it won't ever surpass the polio vaccine or penicillin, it is good for you.  In fact, laughing 15 minutes throughout the day burns an average of 50 calories.  Admittedly, that's not even an Oreo, but it's not just the calories that count when it comes to a good guffaw.

Laughter helps reduce stress and decrease the offending hormones involved - cortisol, adrenaline and dopac.  This is important because cortisol is a particular problem for those trying to lose weight.  It has a long history of 'protecting' the body by building fat, especially around the midsection, in reaction to stress.  When we were living in caves, this was useful as stress was often brought on by conflict or if the weather turned and we knew that food wouldn't be as readily available.  Now, for most of us, food is everywhere and our bodies never changed their chemistry.

A good giggle not only assists in fighting the bad, it increases the good - T-cells and globulins.  These are agents that act to build and bolster our immune system.  You see, though the science is late 20th century to today, the expression, "Laughter is the best medicine", was sound a hypothesis long ago.

In the spirit of funny, I wanted to bring you a few things that could potentially make you healthier...

From Go Comics - Two of my all time favorite strips -

The American Film Institutes Top 20 Best Comedies of all time (as of 2000) - 

The poster and trailer for the new movie "Cedar Rapids" and yes, for you Iowans, it really was shot in Cedar Rapids:

So, there you are, just a few things that make me laugh.  Whatever hits your funny bone, laugh and laugh often, it's good for you.

Yours in Health,