Friday, December 31, 2010

Lucky Foods for New Year's Day

I am currently (for the 6th year in a row) working on New Year's Eve.  I am running the controls for STAR 102.5's Downtown Countdown.  No complaints, it's a complement to be entrusted with a 6 hour, live party show. (Or at least that what our old program director Jim said.)

While I am punching button I thought, 'Hey, this really gives me time to hunt down the info for tonight's blog'.  It did.  One search of Google and I found that Epicurious has already done a fantastic job with "Lucky Foods for New Year's Day".  In fact, for years I have searched out something this thorough. 

It covers foods and dishes considered lucky from around the world AND offers some of the recipes. I am really impressed and rather than recreating I thought I would give them props and share theirs.  I brought over their picture as well. :)

So, here's hoping your 2011 starts lucky and stays that way.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Healthy New Year's Eve Drinks

I like to call New Year's Eve, "amateur night".  It's that time when everyone thinks you should drink in celebration.  Maybe you are looking to rid yourself of the memories of 2010 or you want to get 2011 started with a bang.  That's great, do whatever floats your boat - but don't drink and drive.

Now here's the dose of reality you didn't ask for - alcohol has calories.  (It's one saving grace is NO fat.)  Yes I know, you know, but do you know how many?  I bring you this handy calculator that the government has set up to discourage college binge drinking.  While I don't believe you have plans to get completely faced, you should still be aware, alcohol calories add up.

A couple of examples - 

Drink Ounces Calories
Light Beer            12                110
Martini 3.5               140
Manhattan 3.5               164
Margarita            4                  168
Champagne 4                  84
Red Wine   4                  80

I am laughing at those a bit, because other than the serving size and calories on the wine, the Manhattan and the champagne, these are likely inaccurate compared to what people may imbibe tomorrow night.  Beer is frequently 16 ounces now; that's a straight vodka martini, it doesn't account for juices or chocolate (my fave); and if you ever got a 4 ounce margarita, you would probably send it back as too skimpy.

With all of that said, there is nothing wrong with having a couple of drinks on an occasion.  If all else fails, it's a social lubricant so you can put up with your cousin Gary who decided to tag along.  The key really, like any other food, is moderation.  (Are you sick of being told that yet?)

I have rounded up a few drink recipes to add to your festivities.  If you drain the alcohol from them, most are kid friendly and all will be lower in calories.

Mojito Fresco
Poinsettia Mimosas
Golden Sparklers
Champagne Ginger Cocktail
Cava Cocktail
And this is a whole website of "Mocktails", so you don't have to worry about taking out the alcohol.
Just some ideas to mix things up for you.  My best advice is, when watching calories, this is not the time to try something new or do shots (which average 100 calories a piece).  This is a time to go with a favorite that you can savor and really enjoy, making every little drop count.

Tomorrow: New Year's Day recipes to bring you luck.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Healthy New Year's Eve Munchies

Here we are again, holiday food.  And here I remind you again, that 'healthy' is relative when it comes to anything labeled holiday.  With that said and my assuring you that one glass of bubbly, to toast the New Year, will not lay waste to your waist, I have come to share some snack recipes.

These are the little goodies that are placed on warming trays, in dishes, on platters, and even though healthier, will add up if you overindulge.  So, remember key things like - fill up on the veggie tray (without the dip), drink a glass of water once an hour to fill tummy space and choose one thing to really enjoy or you may run off the rails without intending to.

Since I am going to give you several, they will be in list and link form:

Mini Corn Bread Crab Cakes with Lemon-Caper Sauce
Spinach-&-Brie-Topped Artichoke Hearts
Tyler Florence's Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
5-Minute Guacamole Recipe
Black Bean Dip
Turkey Cocktail Meatballs
Alton Brown's Mulled Wine
Ginger-Shrimp Pot Stickers with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

That should get you started and all of the websites I linked you to have many other recipes.  Tomorrow 'better for you' cocktails. :)

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where Did 2010 Go?

I have been working away today on the January/February issue of !ntuition Magazine.  As in 2011.

It hadn't really sunk in until a little while ago when a friend shot me a "Happy New Year" as she headed to Barbados to celebrate a belated honeymoon.  Wow. Yep, Saturday is a whole new year.

It's now weighing heavily on my mind.  Not so much what I didn't accomplish (which was plenty), but what I need to do, to make sure 2011 is better.  And by better I am talking about, more meaningful.

I spend many days working away, not really having a life, doing what I need to do to get by - we almost all do this.  I want that to change in the New Year.  I will do what I need to, but I will also address the wants.  The wants that have a positive effect outside myself will take priority and that will feed my soul - as I mentioned yesterday, it's one of the keys to survival.

In the end, it doesn't matter where 2010 went, so much as where I am going in 2011.

Yours in Health,

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Soul

This was the post I was planning for a week ago last Saturday, before being side tracked by the 'ick'. 

Throughout the holidays we talk about food.  We eat too much, we want to try a recipe, someone brought cookies again, we giggle at Aunt Mable's annual fruit cake and we are thrilled with chocolate delights.  In fact, as most of our butts and thighs can attest, we are awash in a sea of fat and carbs from November to the New Year.  While these meals and treats feed our stomachs, we miss the most important thing - nourishing our souls.

We rush through life, especially the holidays - shopping and working and parties and cards - hoping all the while, we will have it done on time.  Sometimes losing our minds a little in the process and mostly missing the point of the season.  It doesn't matter your religion - the end of the year is about reflection, appreciation and grace.

Without a doubt you reflect on where you came from - your family, a favorite Christmas, your first game of dreidel or when you first celebrated Kwanzaa.  Perhaps you take the time to bake cookies for the teacher or mail carrier to express appreciation.  But do you embrace grace?

Grace is the one that matters most, it is becoming the embodiment of the goodness you seek in the world.  We all crave favor, kindness, friendship and forgiveness.  Yet, can we expect this to befall us if we aren't willing to endow these things just as freely?  The short answer of course is 'no'.

The full response takes years to unfold and embody.  It's a personal journey toward letting go and being willing to grow.  However, all of the pains we take are washed away as little lessons are learned and it quietly gives sustenance to our soul.  And that's what I want to impart this holiday season.

I am not perfect, in fact it's a daily struggle with my imperfections. (Hence the blog.) Still, I try to keep my eyes open and be trained by the universe to soak up what I need to improve in any way I can.  I know what you are thinking, "Okay all knowing one, how is this 'feeding of the soul' done?"

I'm but an apprentice, but I do have a few ideas: 
  • Send an unexpected card or make that call you have been putting off.  Imagine the relief from years of pressure brought on by the unknown.
  • Reach out to someone you don't even know.  A random act of kindness gives the feeling of accomplishment all day.
  • Go overboard on a gift for that friend who has had a rotten year and be sure the note with it promises you're going to be there whether it gets better or not.
  • Read to someone.  It can be a child, an ill friend or a senior at the local care center.  A warm voice can move anyone from despair.
  • Give to a charity that touches your heart.  And if you can, give your time too.  Even $5 makes a difference and hours are worth more than money.
  • Say 'please', 'thank you' and 'I love you'.  Simple words that will be shared in an endless chain.
I know you have many other ideas for becoming more graceful.  Put them in words, pass them on, but mostly do them.  And then see just how nourished your soul can really be. 

Yours in Health,

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Food-borne Illness - The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Friday night and yesterday I had nice holiday time with my family.  But...

Wow.  It has been an ugly and long week.  My apologies for not following through with my plans to post recipes every day, but I got really sick.

Last Saturday I woke up feeling good, my wallet had money and it was time to finally start my Christmas shopping.  First things first, a good brunch to stoke the engine.  I went the healthy route and got an egg white omelet with fresh spinach (at a restaurant that will go unnamed), it tasted pretty good and I was off to the mall.

I hadn't been in the mall very long when I became soaked in sweat.  I thought, well the mall is packed and I am rushing around, no big deal.  Even though no one else was soaking their shirt.  Anyway, I went about trying to get things done and slowly felt worse as the day wore on.  I tried to write it off to a lot of things, but by early evening I knew - I was getting very ill.  I let the boss know and then hoped that my fever and chills would pass without much incident. Uh, nope.

I will save you the details, other than to say, it was fever, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, headache - horrible.  And it didn't last just 24-48 hours like a nice flu.  No, this drug on.  It was traced back to the spinach in my omelet.  It wasn't fully cooked, but I thought nothing of it until much later.  They even briefly thought I had e. coli.  By the way, this is a food-borne illness, not food poisoning.  The food hadn't gone bad, it was tainted by bacteria.

I finally made it back to work on Thursday, 15 pounds lighter and weak.  I was able to eek out some time to Christmas shop so everyone had gifts, but that spent the 'extra' energy I had.

Yesterday I thought I was feeling a bit better, so I ate a regular Christmas dinner.  Turns out, I am not fully recovered.  As I tried to go to bed last night, my body balked at the amount of food I had enjoyed.  It wasn't an insane amount, but compared to the rest of the week, I ate like a queen.  So, I spent most of the night writhing in pain and sweating, very little sleep too.

So, I came to work early.  I have been drinking some gingerbread tea and it is helping.  Going forward for the next week I have a new plan - very small amounts of food and BLAND.  Knowing my body, it will find a way to throw a fit anyway, but I have to give it a try.

Yours in Health,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sorry no post today

I'm running on empty.  My best guess is a long week with long hours just came to roost.  I have tried several things and nothing.  So, I am going home and possibly to bed.

Post tomorrow as was promised for today.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Dinner Planning 2010 - Healthier Appetizers/Dip

Today's subject - the meal before the meal.  This can be one of the biggest pitfalls of any person trying to be healthy, not just now, but all year round.  You go to any event and the appetizers can be a calorie bomb.  I have decided to combine the concept of dip with appetizer.  I pulled together two healthier, but hearty, options that will compliment the always necessary crudités (veggie plate).

I will skip the elementary - fat free sour cream with Lipton Soup mix - because you know those tricks.  These two appetizers/dips are currently both popular and trendy AND they are healthier because they have veggies and fiber.

Kate’s Healthier Spinach-Artichoke Dip - Yes, it's really my reworking. :)

1 (14 oz.) can of artichoke hearts in water
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach
6 oz. - low-fat or fat free sour cream, your preference
½ cup - shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
½ cup – 2% mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons non-fat Greek style yogurt
1/8 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground black pepper and fresh ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon of crushed red peppers (if you want it spicier)


Heat oven to 400°F.

Drain and finely chop the artichoke hearts and place them in a medium bowl. Add spinach, sour cream, yogurt, the mozzarella and spices – mix well.  Add half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano (we use this cheese because it’s really flavorful). 

Now taste – this is where you add more spices to your preference.  When you are happy, spread the mix into a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

Serve warm or at room temperature with carrots, endive leaves and pretzels for dipping.

Makes about 3 cups dip.

Our other dip is a lower fat version of hummus.  I hesitated on trying this one forever, with my roomie constantly saying, "Hummus is Yummus!"  I finally tried it and she's right, although I prefer it warm.  When it's warm I LOVE it.  The benefits are the fiber in the beans and as it was pointed out the other night on "Bones" - the B6, which helps with morning sickness among other ailments. It's from's Middle Eastern Foods section.   It's traditionally served with warm pita wedges, but it's great with veggies, keeping your calories down.  

There you are, your shield for the hoards who will be chomping at the bit to get dinner underway.  And a healthier nosh for you to stave of the mega-hungries so you don't over indulge during the main event.

Tomorrow:  A health break - how I improved my outlook during the ever stressful holidays and it might help you too. 

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Dinner Planning Begins - The Breakfast Smoothie

I have been putting together recipes for a "healthier" holiday dinner.  I have used parenthesis because, as you know, we could cut all the fat and calories in the world and if you binge, it no longer matters.  With that in mind today we start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast.  It's particularly important on a holiday - you know why.

What? You're going to make me explain it?  LOL.  Okay, fine, eating breakfast has many benefits:  it fires up your energy, which you are going to need to get through the day; it gives your brain the fuel so that you remember to put the salt in the potatoes, not the sugar; and it helps stave off binges when dinner is finally ready.

This recipe for Emeril's Yummy Wake-up Smoothie is super easy and very healthy.  It's full of fruit, fiber and a little protein.  Use non-fat yogurt and it's even healthier.

I went with a smoothie because all it requires is a blender and a little time AND it's for YOU.  Yes, Y-O-U, the one who will be up before the crack of dawn making sure there will be food for everyone else later in the day.  Plus, there are a couple more servings for the little ones who couldn't stay in bed because there are presents under the tree.

Tomorrow, "healthier" appetizers and a reasonable dip.

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Update on My Health - Stress Can Make You Sick

I work too much, I stress too much, I don't get enough sleep.  Sound familiar?  You are probably exactly the same.  But after weeks of recovering from my time in the hospital, doctors visits and tests, that is the conclusion.

Basically, my body does not navigate stress as well as it once did.  So, doctors orders are - "Don't stress as much".  Um, how much did I pay for that?

I know, the upside is - they say my heart is healthy, I do not have a brain tumor, I do not have an ulcer, I do not have arterial damage, I do not have leukemia, I do not have high blood pressure, I do not have diabetes, I do not have a lot of things.  And I am grateful for all of the above.

The one struggle I have is, how do I deal with this?  I mean on any given day I have so much to do for work, that if I wasn't borderline ADD, I would never be able to switch gears and make it all happen.

It's been suggested I workout more, take up meditation and find a hobby outside of work.  All very good suggestions.  But then I stop and think, how?  Where does any of this fit?  By the time I get home, I am exhausted.  If it doesn't involve a remote control, I don't feel capable.

The problem is, if I don't find a way to bring my life under control, I will end up back in the hospital.  In fact, last week, in the middle of a very stressful day at work, I almost passed out again.  This time I noted everything that had happened leading up to it and concluded that the doctors are right - I stress on my own and then I feed off of everybody else's stress.  I literally empathize my way to illness.

The funny thing is, doctors have been telling me this since I was a teen and I'll be honest, I laughed it off.  The first doctor who told me that, I spent years thinking he was a quack.  Counselors have been blunt and told me most of my mental pain comes from taking on the issues of others.  And now, not one but four doctors, have recently told me the same thing - I feel too much.

That's really hard to hear because I pride myself on helping other people, trying to assuage their pains, having a killer work ethic and basically taking care of the world.  I now must seek a way to be myself and yet close off enough to keep my health.

Just writing this helps, at least for the moment.  I feel like I am at my first meeting of some sort - "I'm Kate and I am a care-oholic".  So, I am open to any ideas you have, 'steps' I might take to stop this spin.  For now, I better go home, been here too long again.

Yours in Health,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Inspiration to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays

I'm going to be brutally honest - losing weight during the holidays is HARD.  Sometimes we need to be more realistic, especially since this is peak season for the multiplication of food pushers.  (People who want you to 'just have one'.)  Realistically, if you maintain during this precarious time, I think you should be proud.

So, once again, I turn to the trusty internet to find a story of weight loss to inspire both you and me.  This one is from Des Moines based Fitness Magazine.  While she didn't lose a ton of inches or pounds, she lost almost 11% body fat and that is a BIG deal.  She went from 40%, which is obese, to 29%, which is considered just a few percentage points over norm for a regular woman.  And she did it in just 3 months, impressive.

That's it for today.  I am exhausted and have been here for 11 hours, again, so it's time to go home.

Yours in Health,

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cookie Week - Macaroons

The biggest calories here are the coconut and sugar.  The upside, most of the fat in coconut is healthy.  There is also just a smidgen of shortening and a drizzle of chocolate.  Overall, not too bad and you get little snowy puffs for your holiday table.

This one comes from Better Homes & Gardens via Kitchen Daily.  When I went looking for the final treat for Cookie Week, this made me salivate a little and that's how it was chosen.  (Very scientific.)

I also like this one, because unlike most macaroon recipes, this doesn't require you to bake them two or three times.  One time in the oven, then move to cool.  In our time strapped lives, this seemed like a good fit.

Well, that's it for Cookie Week.  For the next couple of days I will give you some inspiration, update you on my health and get you ready for THE week. :)

Yours in a Health,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cookie Week - Cranberry-Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Over the past ten years or so, cranberries have come into vogue.  Sure, they've always been gelatinous for a turkey side, but for a decade this berry's profile has been raised by research into its nutritional value.

Cranberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.  These properties have been shown to help with everything from bladder infections to heart health.  Plus, their tartness is a great compliment to sweet.

Today's recipe is from Cooking Light Magazine.  My roomie made it last year and, though cranberries aren't my favorite, this cookie was awesome. 

The recipe mixes cranberries, whole wheat flour, egg white, walnuts and mini chocolate chips with some of the standard ingredients.  In the end this healthier little treat is a bundle of complimentary tastes.  Enjoy!

Yours in Health,

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cookie Week - Low Fat Gingerbread Cookies

This cookie's silhouette just says 'holiday' and his spicy demeanor closes the deal.  Gingerbread men (or women) bring smiles to the faces of even the biggest kid.  Case in point, I had a friend over for dinner recently and offered him either cannoli or a gingerbread man for dessert, he smiled widely and asked for the guy with the buttons.

Whether you roll them out and decorate them, or make balls for circle cookies these are a classic.  This recipe is from Prevention Magazine's website.  It uses only 6 tablespoons of butter.  I think that's especially good in the case of this recipe because I have had some greasy gingerbread men and well, yuck.  They also use a nice amount of ginger as compared to the other complimentary spices.

By the way, a couple of quick facts about ginger - it can help with nausea and aid digestion.  I have used it when suffering from the flu and friends have used it with morning sickness, it's a home run.  And that's just one of its many medicinal uses.

Yours in Health,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cookie Week - Healthier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today it's the year round favorite - Chocolate Chip Cookies.  In fact, when we had the Cookie Walk last week, those were the ones that ran out first.

Today's recipe is from Eating Well and goes healthier with whole wheat flour and canola oil instead of shortening.  The are called Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies and I picture Bev as being as smart as her cookies.

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cookie Week - What Can I Substitute to Make Cookies Healthier?

So far this week I have shared two recipes, that have been made a bit healthier by others, to help fill your holiday cookie jar.  But today I am going to give you the tools to slim down your favorite family recipes without taking away the taste that makes them a holiday staple.

This list of substitutions has been put together by my friends at the Mercy Weight Loss and Nutrition Center.  It covers the baking of sweets, one of the hardest things to transform, but it also offers tips for the savory dishes in your arsenal.  Some of these are common sense, others are downright creative.

Instead of using:                                                    Try:

Whole milk ............................................................ Skim milk
Sweetened condensed milk .................................... Non-fat sweetened condensed milk
Cream ................................................................... Evaporated milk or fat-free half & half
Whipped cream ..................................................... Light or fat-free whipped topping
Cream cheese......................................................... Light or fat-free cream cheese.
*Note: fat-free cream cheese may change the consistency of finished product
Butter, margarine or oil ........................................... Fruit puree (unsweetened applesauce)
Whole egg .............................................................. 2 egg whites or a ¼ c. egg substitute
White or brown sugar ............................................. Splenda® or decrease the total amount by 1/3 to a 1/2
1 oz. baking chocolate ............................................ Three Tbsp. of cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp. oil
Sour cream ............................................................. Low-fat or fat-free sour cream
                *Note: fat-free sour cream may change the consistency of finished product
Mild Cheddar Cheese ............................................. Reduced-fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
White rice ............................................................... Brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat couscous
1 c. chocolate chips ................................................. ½ c. mini chocolate chips

Hopefully this helps you create magic in your kitchen and your family never misses the calories.

Yours in Health,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cookie Week - Low-Fat Oatmeal Cookies

Today, the good old fashioned oatmeal cookie.  The oats are the bulk of the calories in this one. This recipe has been reworked with whole wheat flower, lower fat shortening and egg whites.  It also has lots of fruit and a good amount of spice.  These two are the keys to enjoying a cookie that doesn't come from your traditional recipe.  A lack of fat can sometimes distract you, but these tastes give you the satisfaction you are looking for.

This recipe is from  It has been well reviewedtoo,

Tomorrow, it's a great list of tips for making your holiday foods, including baking, healthier from my friends at Mercy Weight Loss and Nutrition Center.

Yours in Health,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cookie Week Begins

Ah, the holiday cookie.  It doesn't matter what you are celebrating, it calls to you.  And because it's often snazzily dressed, it's hard to turn it down.  So this week I am going to share the recipes I have hunted down to create slimmer cookies.

To be clear - no cookie is "healthy".  Yet, most can be healthier.  Some recipes cut the fat, some sugar and some substitute ingredients that are a healthier option. 

Today it's the basic sugar cookie.  This gem can stand on its own or it can be the foundation to dozens of other cookies.  Taste of Home Magazine has lightened it up and even has ways to use it with other recipes.

Yours in Health,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Bucket of Cookies and An Ounce of Growth

Yesterday was the Cookie Walk to benefit "Shoes That Fit", an organization that helps get warm clothes for underprivileged kids in the metro.  Des Moines' Holiday Music Station LITE 104.1 (my station), Mediacom and West Glen Town Center put on the event with donated cookies from a long list of generous businesses.  For a first time fundraiser, it went very well.  A lot of fans of the station came out and it was really fun.

Since it was for a good cause, I had to buy a bucket of cookies.  I bought a bucket for Monica, one of our part-timers, as well and with my gloves on she braved the chilly wind and went business to business collecting the cookies.  She also later donated money herself, good kid!  She brought them back and I looked inside, yum, they looked fabulous, but I didn't eat any - yep, you read that right.

I realized I hadn't had real food to eat in a few hours, so I needed lunch before I put sugar in my tummy.  After the event was over, I grabbed a healthy lunch and then got back in the car with the open bucket of cookies.  Oddly, though I was fully aware they were there, lunch was satisfying and I wasn't even tempted.

Long story short, the open bucket of cookies was in my presence for at least 45 minutes of driving from location to location and I never ate one.  They made it all the way home, except the one I 'tipped' my hairdresser with during my up-do for the Christmas party.

I walked in the door to change for the party, put the bucket on the counter and walked straight upstairs.  By the time I was ready I had forgotten about them.  When I came down the stairs Lori drooled, "A bucket of cookies..." and I said, "Oh yea, I forgot."  I explained where they were from, told her she could have as many as she wanted and asked if she could please bag them up because I was running late.

The common thread here is that my old behavior would have had me stuffing those suckers back one or two at a time, especially when no one was around to witness it.  Even as I am typing, they aren't really tempting me.  I am kind of feeling like the Grinch's heart right now - I have grown.

Yet, I will admit, at some point I will savor the gourmet goodies.  But I don't feel rushed to do so, I don't have that fervor that has taken over so many times - 'I better eat it or somebody else will'.  If they do that's okay, I know the name of each store that donated and they will happily make more.

Yours in Health,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Noted: Alcohol and Acid Reflux are NOT Friends

I rarely drink.  In fact, I can count on one hand the number of drinks I have had this year.  I don't need alcohol to have a good time and I don't want to use it to release stress.  (Bad habit to start.)

Tonight however was the company Christmas party and I couldn't resist.  Just a chance to loosen up a little with my friends.  I had a rather weak, but tasty cranberry and vodka for cocktail hour and then during dinner half a glass of wine.  Finally, after dessert, we convened to watch the band play and I had a Bailey's and coffee.  Spaced out over 3 hours, not too bad.  Afterward I switched to water and regular coffee.

But, as time passed, I started to have weird pains in my chest and didn't feel well.  It took me a few minutes and then I remembered - if I drink more than one alcoholic beverage, my acid reflux rebels.  And it sure did.  What happens is that the acid overwhelms the stomach and basically starts jumping up the throat.  That causes the esophagus to spasm and press against the heart, sometimes causing pain - it can even mimic a heart attack.

Since I needed to come to work anyway, I left the party.  I came back here and took an antacid and drank some more water - all better.  So, the moral of the story is, I will go back to my non-alcoholic drinks and be perfectly content - and without pain.  :)

Yours in Health,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Think It's Bubble Bath Time

It's only Thursday and yet, it feels like it should be next Wednesday.  It has been a hard, stressful week of everyone else's problems being mine.  I was even mean to one of my favorite people here at work today.  She bore the brunt of my frustration and it wasn't fair.  I will try to make it up to her, but it made me look hard at my stress level.

They still have no answers as to why I landed in the hospital, they say they may never know.  With the way the week has slowly worn me down, I'm leaning toward the guess the emergency room doctors proffered - yep, stress.  Feeling overwhelmed, overworked, lacking sleep and faltering.  I have been working hard on the sleep, but the work has risen again.  So, I will attempt to correct.

My parents are going on vacation next week and this may be a good chance.  You see, I am dog-sitting three furry children who need a little more attention than my lifestyle usually allows.  But I am thinking that I will try to telecommute from my mom's house as much as possible.  That will cause those most in need of my help to e-mail me or call my cell for assistance, thereby limiting interruptions.  Hey, I might actually accomplish something.

For now, I am serious about that bubble bath.  I am grabbing dinner, going home and sinking in a tub-o-bubbles. :)

Yours in Health,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The "C" word for those attempting to eat healthy.  It pops up everywhere during the holiday season.  Sometimes left in dishes off by itself with no witnesses to see you indulge.  If no one sees it, it never happened, right?

Well holiday candy is like everything else in life, you can have it in moderation.  But unlike other things, a little candy that weighs less than an ounce can be, not only a calorie bomb, but full of really bad fats.

Today I went forth seeking a healthier option and Martha Stewart has come through.  (No surprise there.)  I wanted dark chocolate because it's heart healthy and nuts for the same reason.  These Chocolate-Nut Patties fit the bill and they couldn't be more simple.  The only thing that might be a little foreign to you is tempering the chocolate, but the recipe explains that as well.  Enjoy!

Yours in Health,