Food
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!…

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.…

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.…

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.…
Vegetarian Restaurants in Central Munich: Where to Find Healthy Meatless Food in the Bavarian Capital
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |

Most Munich guidebooks tout the meat-intensive cuisine that is part of traditional Bavarian cooking. But that doesn't mean that vegetarian visitors to this world-class city don't have plenty of good eat-out options too. The restaurants below are all in central Munich, located near popular tourist attractions, and offer a range of prices and dining styles.

Prinz Myshkin

The "prince" among veggie restaurants in Munich, Prinz Myshkin is Munich's most upscale and centrally-located eatery. It offers wonderful, creative vegan and vegetarian food in a lovely setting just a few blocks from Marienplatz.

Perennially popular are the sushi, pizza and pasta selections. Where the restaurant really shines, however, is in it signature dishes, such as Tofu Stroganoff, in a red wine cream sauce, or Involtini, a sensational mixture of tofu, mushrooms and roasted nuts rolled in chard leaves and served either with an herb cream sauce or a vegan teriyaki sauce. They also offer an impressive range of desserts.

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Main course prices range from 9 to 17 Euros (US$12 to 22).

Vegelangelo

Walking distance from both Marienplatz and the Deutsches Museum, Vegelangelo specializes in meatless twists on traditional Bavarian food as well as international cuisine. There is an emphasis on vegan dishes.




For a meat-free taste of Southern German food, try the Linselneintopf, a lentil stew served with soy wieners, or the Knoedel (bread dumplings) with sauerkraut. The pasta dishes are also delicious and inventive.

Address: Thomas-Wimmer-Ring 16

Open for lunch and dinner (except Sundays and Mondays). Main course prices range from 5 to 19 Euros (US$6.50 to 25) and there is a daily price-fixed lunch special.

Lecker Bissen

Visitors to Munich's Kunstareal (art gallery district) in the neighborhood of Maxvorstadt might want to try Lecker Bissen (translates from German as "yummy bites"). This is a small, simple cafe specializing in salads, soups and vegetable pies.

The selection changes daily, depending on the whim of the chef/owner and sometimes includes a fish dish; otherwise, the menu is vegetarian. Most impressive are the 8 to 10 creative salads, which can be ordered as sides or served in an assortment as a main course.

Address: Theresienstrasse 27

Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Most dishes cost between 3.50 and 6 Euros (US$4.50 and 8).

Sababa

A good place for a quick lunch around the Viktualienmarkt (one of Munich's top sights) is Sababa, a Lebanese take-out restaurant at the south edge of the market. While not a pure vegetarian restaurant--they serve poultry too--the majority of the menu is meat-free.

The highlight here is felafel (chick-pea fritters), served either sandwich style in pita bread or as a platter with side salads and bread. There are a few tables for those who want to eat on-site.

Address: Westenriederstrasse 9

Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Main courses range from 3.50 to 7 Euros (US $4.50 to 9).

Ignaz

Located in the heart of the Schwabing district, Cafe Ignaz has been around for more than 26 years, and …

UnschoolingParenting Food for Thought
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
If you spend your whole life learning, why do so many think a child MUST learn something by a certain age during the constraints of their time in public school?

With the modes of easy transportation in today's world, why do so many people in mainstream believe a homeschooled child does not get any socialization?

When people are pulling their kids out of public schools by the droves, what does this say?

Why are children raised in the same manner as someone's dog with exaggerated praises of Good Boy! or dislike of Bad Girl! Punishments and rewards for the "tricks" you want them to perform? Think about it, children are treated as you would treat a dog! Not all of course but there seems to be a trend there.

We live in a land of freedom yet children are and most likely always are a slave and servant within the household until reaching the age of 18 within many households.

If learning is natural and part of human nature, then why do so many feel it needs to be forced?

Where were we before all the "labels" for learning disabilities?

Why is it, the focus is on a child's negative behaviors rather than celebrating them for their individual being in their entirety?

If public schools are failing so miserably, then why are those who decide on alternative paths so criticized?

Where or who would your child be, if you simply got out of their way?

What would need to happen for public schools to thrive and be a success?

Is a child an invited guest in your home? A burden? A blessing?

When parents of public school children ask " How can you be with your child 24/7 and not go insane?" My adult daughter's reply is ........." How can you a public school parent with children in after school programs and activities and your work schedule afford to MISS so much time with them?"

Why is so much emphasis put on a child going to college or getting a job with the thought a homeschooled child will be unable to do so? There are other choices one can make in life as well and IF they decide on college and corporate jobs, they will be able to do those too!

Just a few thoughts to chew on this morning! Have an Amazing Day!…

Recipe: Berry Dumplings
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
I've always been a huge fan of berries. Who isn't? Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, oh my! Well, I have the perfect dish to give you a berry fix and satisfy your sweet tooth all in one. Berry dumplings with ice cream!

What you will need: 2 cups of berries (I like to use a mixture of blackberries and blueberries), 2 cups of water, 1 cup of flour, 1 and 1/3 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 stick of butter, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, milk and salt as needed, ice cream.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon with one tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Cut the butter into these ingredients. Add milk little by little and stir until the dough is firm and doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Set this aside. Pour and stir the water, berries, and the sugar into a large pot. Heat this mixture until boiling. Use a tablespoon (a teaspoon if you want smaller dumplings) and drop the dough pieces into the boiling pot one by one. Put a lid on the pot, reduce the heat, and let it cook covered for 20 minutes.

Unless you want a quick ice cream soup, give your dumplings some time to cool down before pouring them over your ice cream. Once you have it prepared though, dig in! It is oh-so yummy!…

Delicious Recipes for Spring
By Kim Carlson | | 0 Comments |
Fresh asparagus is one of the finest vegetable bounties of the spring season. Sure, you can get greenhouse asparagus year round. But nothing compares to that first bite of in-season asparagus - and these recipes will help you take advantage of the wonderful flavor in an entrée, a side dish or as a vegetable accompaniment.

Asparagus Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:

4 boneless chicken breast fillets (approx. 4 oz. each)

6 stalks fresh asparagus

¼ cup diced sweet onion

4 oz. goat cheese

1 tsp. black pepper

For marinade:

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp chopped fresh basil

Slice thickness of chicken breasts ¾ of the way through. Blend marinade ingredients together, place in Ziploc bag along with chicken breasts, shake till well coated. Marinate for 1-2 hours, shaking occasionally to evenly coat. Meanwhile, blanch asparagus and dice. Blend diced asparagus with goat cheese, diced onions and black pepper. Stuff each breast with cheese/asparagus mixture. Grill or broil for 15-20 minutes (until internal temp of chicken reaches 165 degrees). Serves 4.

Black Pepper Pasta with Asparagus

Ingredients:

3 cups Penne Rigate pasta

10 stalks fresh asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces

1 tbsp. black pepper

¼ cup olive oil (preferably extra virgin)

3 fresh roma tomatoes, diced

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tsp. chopped fresh basil

Blanch asparagus and set aside (do not rinse in cold water). Prepare pasta as directed on package, stirring black pepper into water before adding the pasta. Drain pasta, do not rinse, return to pan. Stir in tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Top with shredded parmesan before serving. Serves 4.

Variation: To turn into an entrée, add 6-8 oz. of thinly sliced grilled chicken or steak.

Asparagus with Lemon Butter

Ingredients:

Approx. 1 lb. fresh asparagus, break stalks in half

1 lg. clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp. butter, softened

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Blend lemon juice with butter until as smooth as possible. Blanch asparagus, drain. Saute asparagus and garlic in lemon butter until well coated (2-3 minutes), season with black pepper. Serves 4.…

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