Kim Carlson
Blueberries, One of Nature's Great Superfoods!
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
Nature has provided mankind with an extensive amount of what are referred to as "superfoods." These foods provide immense amounts of health and wellness benefits upon intake, and are often recommended by nutritionists and doctors for those experiencing health problems or who just want to improve their overall condition and lifestyle. With only 41 calories in 1/2 cup and countless health benefits, blueberries definitely fall high-up on the list of these incredible superfoods!

Blueberries are small, purple-colored berries that grow on bushes in acidic soil. Research in recent years has shown that regular blueberry consumption provides a number of health benefits to humans and animals alike. Blueberries are full of phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring non-nutritive components of many fresh fruits, vegetables and plants. These phytochemicals render blueberries highly antioxidant, harmful to cancerous cells, anti-inflammatory and preventative of nerve damage. Blueberries are also high in vitamin C, and it has been found that when the phytochemicals interact with the vitamin C a protective barrier is created around the cells, preventing cancerous materials from entering and wreaking havoc. Blueberries have also been found to help delay neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Dementia, and have proven to help lower the risk for heart disease due to their high amounts of helpful vitamins and minerals. The antioxidants in blueberries also help build your immune system, which helps ward off even common viral and bacterial infections like the common cold or flu.

Blueberries are also incredibly important to the maintenance of gastrointestinal health. Several components of the blueberry have been found to inhibit the growth of intestinal pathogens, stopping diseases like Staph and Salmonella in their tracks. A handful of blueberries also provides the acid, fructose and vitamins needed for healthy digestion, preventing constipation and digestive problems. Combine this with their low amounts of calories and fat per serving and you have an ideal weight-loss aid, as well!

This super-fruit is also beneficial to eye and brain health. The amount of vitamins in each serving of blueberries helps to keep your brain and eyesight in top shape by providing it with the healing of damaged cells and nerve tissues and by slowing down the process of nerve degeneration. As a benefit of brain health, blueberries have also been studied and proven to work just as well as anti-depressant medications in combating depression and other disorders.

A tip for choosing the most healthy blueberries: make sure that the berries are dark and almost red. These are the highest in antioxidants and vitamins and will provide the best health benefits!…

Catay Restaurant Review,Alicante area, Costa Blanca
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |

A brisk stroll in the chilly December air brought us to a restaurant I frequently pass in the Alicante Golf area of Playa San Juan, it is part of a family owned chain of restaurants and what we call "Everything" shops, we had a spendid A La Carte experience last year at their first restaurant in the village of Sant Joan, and we were not disappointed at the buffet restaurant.

From the moment you walk through the doors you are welcomed warmly, and the service is exceptional throughout. The food is plentiful, there is a reasonable wine list with the more expensive wines still around the 10 euro mark, they also sell Sake by the cup or small carafe so we warmed up straight away with a carafe which was only 4.50!

 

There are three large main course buffet trolleys, one with raw ingredients you plate up and take to the chef for cooking, one with hot prepared dishes like rices and fried starters, one with cold salads and vegetables, a nod to the Spanish House Salad with olives, boiled eggs, tuna, cheese etc. There is also a smaller dessert buffet with a good selection of fresh fruits and a fridge with puddings.

There is a fantastic selection of seafood and meats for the chef to cook for you, shelled raw tiger prawns, langoustines, razor clams, squid, large shell on prawns, and just as many meats to choose from, lamb chops, steak whole or sliced, chicken breast whole or finely sliced, with lovely fresh vegetables if you're so inclined, I had some asparagus, oriental mushrooms, green pepper and brocolli for example.

The puddings were also very good, there were Asian fruits as well as more local ones, and an assortment of puddings from Tiramisu to Creme Caramel.

Everything was fresh, well stocked and the waiting staff were friendly and attentive. The chef was a charming man too, even under pressure when it got busy as the evening progressed. Unlike the waiting staff I don't think he spoke any English, however should you need help there was always a waitress nearby waiting to see if you need anything.

We arrived early which I recommend as the restaurant gets really busy, but lingered for a good couple of hours. They open for the evening at 8pm and by half past 9 they were almost full.

We had a great evening and will definitely be making this a regular haunt! To have such great choice for such a reasonable price it's great value. Well worth getting out of the city for, there is also a tram stop on the L4 route from the city within sight of the restaurant, called Sergio Cardell, once there find the street Avenida Vicente Ramos and within a few seconds you will have passed the Post Office(Correos) and have found the shopping complex where the restaurant is situated. There's also a taxi rank outside. The buses-there's a stop for the number 9 almost directly outside, and the …

Right Sizing Fast-Food Until You Eliminate it from Your Meals
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |

I was fond of fast food so much so that I could not live without pizzas, chips and burgers. I just had to have a pizza, French fries, or a crispy fried chicken burger; all that food did have an impact on my figure but I did not mind looking chubby until one day I realized my clothes did not suit me, my shirts started clinging to my body, especially my arms seemed as if they were fastened by tight-fitting material; I seemed heavy and slightly ugly.

I knew it was time I watched out what I ate so I started to diet. I had gone on a few diets before and had some idea of what would work out. I knew I could not live without my fast food, I loved it. I read plenty of stuff on dieting, fattening foods and managing eating habits and I devised my own little strategy to give-up on fast food, lose weight and to look good.

Here's what I did. I ate one-fourth of fast food I used to eat, with other foods that were high in fibre like brown bread and pita bread, complemented with home-made meals, and fresh or boiled vegetables. My favorite food mix was a quarter slice of pizza, one bowl full of finely chopped cucumber mixed in lemon juice and pepper, and one slice of brown bread with home-made grilled chicken. One of my other favorite meals included a small bowl full of French fries, a bowl full of boiled beet-root, and grilled steak. And another combination was a quarter of crispy fried chicken burger, with chicken curry and rice.

Everyday I ate something that did not add too many calories and at the same time I made sure my food was full of flavors so that I satisfied my appetite with something filling. I had lost weight before so I knew drinking a glass or two full of water every time I felt hungry would suppress the untimely jolts of hunger, my tummy growled for food now and then but I somehow managed to restrict myself from overeating by using these little techniques.

I started eating lesser of the fattening fast food full of mayonnaise, cheese, and heavy filling and my appetite for fast food reduced until I started enjoying only home-made grilled food, soups and boiled rice and gravy complemented with tasty salads. My body became accustomed to my new eating habits; I realized my stomach did not growl for food at odd hours. I reduced weight and managed to keep fit only because I continued to watch how much of what I ate.…

Food Hoarding for Amateurs
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
Food hoarding isn't just for survivalists. That involves expensive dehydrated survival foods and storage, and is beyond the scope of this article. I'm talking about building up a supply of regular foods you can buy at the grocery store, as a means to save a ton of cash on groceries, and to be prepared in case of an emergency such as a winter storm or prolonged unemployment. There is also the benefit that you will be able to help your friends and neighbors who didn't stock up if there really is ever an emergency, like an earthquake or prolonged power outage. How much food should I store? It's best to aim for three to six months' worth of food for your hoard. This way, you will have a decent supply of food in case of emergency, plus you won't have to worry about long-term storage concerns. Beyond that, it's mostly a matter of how many people are in your family that you need to take into account, and how much room you have for storage. A single person living in a studio apartment is going to have different concerns and options than a family of eight living in huge six bedroom farmhouse. Where do I stash my hoard? First, decide how much room you have to spare for food storage. If you're lucky, you have a large pantry with plenty of shelving and a large freezer. But many of us don't and have to be a bit more creative. Maybe you'll have to convert a hall closet, plus a space in your garage. Maybe you have a spare bedroom you can use for this purpose. Whatever you decide to do, you will have to plan out your storage space before you can figure out how much of a food supply you will be able to manage. Getting started with food hoarding. I'm going to assume you buy groceries on a weekly or bi-weekly basis like most Americans. This is fine. Keep doing this. Buy your regular groceries. You can start adding food to your hoard bit by bit. Every week when you go shopping, see what kind of super-spectacular deals you can find. Look through Costco for 25 pound bags of rice for 8 bucks. Look for deeply discounted canned goods, and buy as much as your weekly grocery budget will allow. Take advantage a super sale on whole chickens at 39 cents a pound. Every week, or when you shop, look for the best savings on foods you can find, and buy in bulk. Use coupons when it's worthwhile. This way, you will slowly build up your hoard at the lowest possible prices. Managing inventory. Start keeping an inventory as soon as you begin stocking up. You can keep a clipboard with inventory sheets somewhere in your storage space. Categorize your foods. Mark down food types, dates, and package sizes on your inventory sheets AS YOU ADD THEM to your storage. Make it a habit to do this as…
NY Fried Chicken and Seafood Restaurant in Towson
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
The local Popeye's on Joppa road is temporarily closed, so my husband and I decided to try the NY Fried Chicken and Seafood on Loch Raven in the Hilton Plaza Shopping Center. We had seen the place and the smells emanating from inside were not easy to resist. The staff though small is pleasant which goes a long way when you are not a regular in a restaurant. Besides, customer service is not why people go to big chains, but for the familiar flavor of the food. I ordered the two piece fish with French fries while my husband ordered the three piece chicken. Walking back to our car, the food in the bag smelled like a carnival, like local food from a local vendor. I was impressed with the fish as it was not a complicated batter. It complimented the fish quite well and brought out the flavor of the tilapia. I'm not the biggest fan of fried chicken but my husband's dish was good too. He found it to be quite juicy and the rolls that came as a side certainly brought a light sweetness to the meal. I was a little timid to try the French fries because I am picky about my fried spuds. Although they lacked in saltiness they were still some of the better restaurant fries I have tried. More salt could easily be added to them. Since I can no longer get my fry fix from the McDonalds across the street, I might be a regular at NY Fried Chicken and Seafood just for their fries. The prices are slightly higher than the big chains, but the food is fresher and has less preservatives. In addition, the portions were big and I was able to save half of it for dinner. All in all the food was a great value. Although the batter was not as flavorful for the chicken as Popeye's or KFC, NY Fried Chicken and Seafood offers a wide menu. For one thing they have collard greens as a side. Collard greens are a popular cook out food that Popeye's and KFC do not carry here. They also offer ribs, salads, ice cream, pies, and gyros. Without a doubt, I would recommend this location of NY Fried Chicken and Seafood as a new place to try. It's been two hours since I had lunch and my mouth is craving more.…
Nesco FD-80 Food Dehydrator Review
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
The Nesco FD-80 is a 700-watt square-shaped food dehydrator. It's useful for dehydrating many different types of foods such as fruit, beef jerky, and vegetables. You can also use it to make your own potpourri. You can find this unit for an average price of $55. Keep reading to learn about some of its features.

Thermostat

The Nesco FD-80 food dehydrator is equipped with a simple control knob for the adjustable thermostat. It has a range between 95 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows you to set the ideal temperature based on the type of food inside the unit.

Trays

The Nesco FD-80 has a square shape which provides more room than a similar round design. The unit includes four drying trays, but can accommodate up to eight at a time. You can buy additional trays for use with the dehydrator in sets of two.

Drying

The Nesco FD-80 food dehydrator has a special drying system that forces hot air horizontally over each tray. This hot air then converges at the center of the unit for even drying. This means that you don't have to go through the trouble of rotating the trays.

Also, the fan is mounted on top of the unit. Therefore, you don't have to worry about excess liquid running down into the heating chamber and leaving a sticky mess.

Maintenance

You will like how easy the Nesco FD-80 food dehydrator is to maintain. All parts are safe to put in your dishwasher except for the power head. You can easily remove the power head using the included bale handle.

Instructions

Needless to say, you're provided with an instruction manual with the Nesco FD-80. However, there are also guidelines printed on the unit's motor housing. Therefore, you don't have to consult the manual so know what the ideal temperature is for various types of foods.

The Nesco FD-80 food dehydrator is packaged with four drying trays, but can accept up to eight at a time. You can use the simple control knob to adjust the unit's thermostat anywhere between 95 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit. The dehydrator is also easy to maintain since all parts are safe to put in the dishwasher except for the power head.…

Restaurant Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts of Dining Out
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |

Reservations:

If you are running late and you do not wish to lose your reservation, call the restaurant ahead of time and let them know how late you expect to be.

Barging in an hour late and demanding your table is inconsiderate. Be courteous, and by calling ahead, you could be in luck because there might be a last minute cancellation.

 

If you do end up losing your table, do not yell at the staff. If you do not show up on time, they will have to assume that you are not coming.

Ordering Food

It can be frustrating to receive food that is undercooked, burned, tastes bad, or food that you simply did not order. You have a few options in this situation. You can eat it anyway, say nothing at all, or alert the waiter. If you choose to alert the waiter, calmly explain that the food is not to your liking, or that it is not what you ordered. The waiter is usually accommodating, and if the food is not what you wanted, he or she will gladly replace it for you.

Remember that waiters do not cook the food, they serve it. Do not yell our curse at the waiter if you do not like the food.

Cell Phone Use

Avoid using your cell phone in a restaurant. It is especially difficult for the waiter who is trying to communicate with you. If you must use it, wait until after you have placed your order, excuse yourself from the table, and make your call.

Carrying on a cell phone conversation at the table is not only disrespectful to your guests, but to the other diners who do not want to be disturbed by your cell phone conversation.

Children and Dining

According to an LATimes interview, experts suggest that if you will be bringing your children to a restaurant, you should first practice a few things at home:

  • Ban electronics from the dinner table
  • Parents, lead by example at the table. Don’t tell the kids not to do something and then do it yourself
  • Practice “please” and “thank-you”
  • Sit upright at the table
  • Have everyone eat together

Don’t have your children running around, fighting, bothering other diners, or tugging on the waiter’s apron or hair.

Before going to the restaurant, urge your children to be on their best behaviour. If your child is yelling and screaming, he is no doubt embarrassing you, but he is also disturbing other diners, and making life difficult for the staff.

Paying the Bill

When you are ready, ask for the check. The waiter generally will not ask you if you want your bill because this is considered rude. It is not the waiter’s job to rush you out of the restaurant.

Tip 15 percent or more. According to an Oprah.com interview, waiters are paid as little as $2.15 per hour in some states, and must live off their tips. Waiters must share their tips with the bus staff, bartenders, hosts, …

Three Simple Rules to Kick the Fast-Food Habit
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
The summer I turned 16, I worked part-time at my local McDonalds. One look at me confirmed that I endorsed the products I bagged for my customers. I filled my polyester uniform with 30 extra pounds of fat culled from a diet of cheeseburgers, French fries, and deep-fried pies. I looked greasy and bloated - and I didn't feel so great, either. A few years later, after eating my way through college on quick meals of 59-cent tacos and giant cups of soda, I grew tired of feeling tired. I looked five years older than my actual age, and my pants always felt tight. When the button on my newest pair of jeans dug into my stomach, I drew a line in the mental sand and vowed not to buy the next larger size. It was time for a diet. I came of age when Weight Watchers had just begun to take hold, and no one had heard of Jenny Craig or Dr. Oz. My diet pre-dated the Internet, so I used common sense to come up with three basic rules I'd follow to lose weight: No red meat No fried food No butter One glance at my list confirmed fast-food was off limits. One hamburger violated all of the rules, so I refused to bite. Instead of grabbing meals on the go, I began to plan. I made smart, simple choices: plain tuna with half a bagel; fruit; baked chicken; yogurt; fresh vegetables. I spent more time planning and preparing meals, but the lost time resulted in lost pounds. I traded speed for quality - and it paid off. After a year of following my plan, I'd shed 30 pounds and dropped three clothing sizes. I had energy and strength, and I hadn't needed to count calories, fat grams or carbs. Even better, I'd lost my taste for fast-food. I hadn't expected this; I assumed once I lost the weight, I'd want to indulge in a burger or taco. But my body disagreed. When I ate fast-food, it tasted oily and fake, and I simply didn't want it. Now, three decades later, I'll give into the occasional craving for fast-food, but I always choose the kid's portion and I always feel greasy when I'm done. I'd rather stick to my simple rules and stay away from drive-thrus and continue to feel - and look - better than I did when I was 16.…
Sustainable Seafood: What the Consumer Can Do to Save Our Seas
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
Earth's oceans are in peril. Over fishing, pollution, use of destructive fishing methods, coastal development, and commercial aquaculture have all contributed to dwindling numbers of fish in the sea. Long before the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Bluefin tuna populations were already at 15 percent of their historical average. In fact, up to 76% of the world's fish stocks are presently being exploited by fisheries. Annually 900,000 metric tons of fish are wasted as a product of fishermen discarding undesirable species that turn up in their catch. Gulf Coast shrimpers alone discard 4 kilograms of 'bycatch' for every kilogram of shrimp they keep. Human waste has assuredly taken its toll on the planet's most diverse bionetwork, but by gaining an understanding of which fish and shellfish are well-managed and which are depleted the consumer can take conservation into their own hands.

A variety of organizations such as the Blue Ocean Institute, Fishwise, and the Environmental Defense Fund offer guides to sustainable seafood selection. Some even offer small cards that can slip into your wallet for on-the-go seafood decision making. However, with a little knowledge and common sense you can make smarter purchases even without a seafood guide.

A good rule of thumb for fish consumption is "the smaller the better." Typically, large slow-growing fish like Orange roughy, Chilean seabass, and Bluefin tuna are most susceptible to depletion by poorly managed fisheries. These species breed later in life and, if caught and consumed early in their life cycles, may never have the opportunity to reproduce. Anchovies, sardines and other fish at the bottom of the food chain don't play quite as crucial a role as they reproduce quickly, more plentifully and earlier in their lives. This makes them a far more sustainable choice. Also, because of their shorter lifespan and eating habits small fish typically take in less mercury than larger fish making them a healthier choice as well.

Avoiding carnivorous fish is another step consumers can take that has a two-fold benefit. Carnivorous fish such as tuna, swordfish, and mackerel have become hugely popular since fish became a "super-food" thanks to the omega 3s they produce. These large carnivorous fish, however, get there sustenance by feeding on small fish lower on the food chain. This means that they are ingesting more mercury and hence storing more mercury in their fat. By avoiding these carnivorous fish the savvy consumer can lower their mercury intake while aiding in making fish supplies more sustainable.

Substituting shellfish for fish fillets is one of the greenest seafood decisions the consumer can make. Most shellfish, such as oysters, clams and mussels, are raised on shellfish farms that have a very minimal environmental impact. Even with shellfish, though, some choices are better than others. Farmed crawfish, for example, is an excellent substitute for lobster. Although lobsters are plentiful in the ocean, they are often harvested at minimum size and have often not yet had a chance to reproduce before they are caught.

Additionally, avoid …

Best Carp Bait Recipes
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
I've been carp fishing for the last fifteen years, and in that time have tried numerous different carp bait recipes, some invented by me and some passed on to me. The following is a list of some of the most productive ones I have ever used. Corn Chow - 2 cups Trout chow - 1 bottled Strawberry Daquiri - 1 Can creamed corn After mixing the bait I place it on my hooks (on Corn Pops), then put a generous splash of Vanilla flavoring on the ball. Its important to test this mix in a bucket of water before using, to ensure that there is not too much trout chow and that it will break up once in the water. Red Rice - 2 cups uncooked rice - 1 cup Ketchup - enough water to soften rice This is a really productive bait. The only problem is that it is very soft, making it hard to keep on the hook. Hot Lemon Chow - 2 cups trout chow - 1/4 bottle artificial lemon flavor - 1 cup corn meal - generous splash of Texas Pete hot sauce Another very productive bait. The corn meal will also assist with the bait breaking up once it is in the water. As a substitution if you wish to, chocolate syrup can be substituted for the Texas Pete. I have had a lot of success with the chocolate. If the pond you are fishing has a high percentage of catfish however, they will definitely come after this one.…
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