All posts by Dana Williams
Obesity, in North American children and adults alike, is on the rise. We are all very well aware of just how detrimental excess weight is for our health. Is there anything we can do to nip the problem in the bud, without having to give up on the goodies?
Eating healthy is more about taking baby steps than about making drastic changes. The following tips are several uncomplicated steps and you can easily make them part of your daily routine for a better tomorrow.
- Nibble on homemade trail mix: dried fruits, nuts, cereal, and chocolate chips.
- Spread peanut butter on apple slices as an alternative to crackers.
- Reach for air-popped popcorn in place of potato chips.
- Combine ½ cup whole milk with ½ cup skim; ultimately switching over to skim milk.
- Make cottage cheese pancakes in place of the usual ones for breakfast.
- Buy low fat dairy products instead of the full fat products.
- Cut your intake of sugary drinks, one cup at a time and top up on water instead.
A large majority of the population conveniently forget to apply sunscreen before exposing themselves to the sun’s rays. How terrible can tanning without sunscreen really be? Consequence = red hot itchy skin, fatigue, and mild dizziness. Nipping the sunburn in the bud is important, since it can help you control the effects of the dangerous UV rays.
Immediate relief to help minimize the pain and send you on the road to recovery can be found in your very own kitchen.
- Plain yogurt contains the perfect enzymes and acids needed to calm and soothe your sunburnt skin. You might experience some unpleasantness at first, but once the yogurt is applied, relief is just about guaranteed to follow within minutes. You can apply the yogurt by either soaking a piece of cloth in yogurt or just by applying it directly to the sunburn.
- Mix some baking soda or cornstarch with water to make a paste and apply it to your skin. Otherwise, empty a box of baking soda into your tub, fill the tub with lukewarm water and soak in it for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This can help do away with the burn altogether.
- To avoid the itching and the peeling that are guaranteed to follow your sunburn, peel and mash some fresh apricots. Apply the mush to the burned area and leave it on for 15 minutes. Use lukewarm water to wash it off.
- Another great solution is vinegar. Place 1 tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water, and use cotton balls to apply it to the burnt area. Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with the solution and spray it onto the sunburn.
- Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents are what make honey a super burn soother. Either use your fingers to cover the burn with honey, or slather honey on a piece of gauze and apply it to your burn.
Ever considered cleaning your barbeque grill? Perhaps you should. Not just once a year, but after every use. Aside for being a danger to your health, the longer the ‘garbage’ is left to sit on your grill, the harder it will be to clean.
Love barbequing, hate cleaning. Fear no longer! Listed below are 5 quick and simple tips on getting your grill clean.
- Leave the grill to cool off just enough so that you will be able to touch it without burning yourself. Scrub the racks using soap and water before hosing it down. Be sure that the racks are 100 dry before replacing them back on the grill to avoid rusting issues.
- Cover your grill with a piece of foil while it is still hot. Before using the grill again, scrunch the foil up into a ball and brush the grid using the foil to get rid of any food that was left behind on the grid.
- Baking soda is at it once again. Combine ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water. Use a wire barbeque brush to rub the solution over the grill. Allow the paste to dry before wiping it down with a dry rag. Let the coals burn off any remaining scum before barbequing your next supper.
- Take the racks off the grill and place them in a garbage bag. Spray some Easy Off or any other oven cleaner over the grids and knot the bag. Let it stand overnight. The following day, open the bag, but take the necessary precautions to keep your face away from the bag since the fumes can be hazardous. All that there is left for you to do is to wipe it down. Once again, be sure to burn the grid before placing food on it.
Playing sports is not all about winning. It’s about having a grand time and staying/getting fit. What better time of year than the summer to play sports, work those muscles, and break into a sweat? The heat gives you no justification for not exercising, as long as you make sure to stay well hydrated.
The following is a list of the top seven summer sports that are worth whatever time and energy you’ve got.
- Tennis. You’ll be amazed at how great a sport tennis is. It’s much more fun than you can ever imagine, not to mention that it is a superb full-body workout.
- For an overall body workout, swimming is great. On a hot summer day, where else would you rather be than in a pool? Big fun, big exercise!
- Summer and biking go hand-in-hand. Biking with friends or family will give you a good time, while biking on your own can give you some time to think. Either way, you’ll be working your abs and legs, burning those extra calories, with the added bonus of enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
- Want to volley? Not only will you have a great time playing volleyball (on the beach), but it is also a really great workout for your arms and legs.
- Basketball can be played both indoors and outdoors which is what makes it an all-year sport. However, there is still nothing like playing basketball out in the open on a nice summer day.
Summer is vacation time and most often, vacation means traveling. Some people would actually prefer to vacation at home rather than travel, be it by car, boat, plane, or train.Just the thought of traveling will makes them queasy.
When traveling, a conflict between the ear and eye takes place. The ear sends a message to the brain that there is movement, while the eye argues otherwise. The brain gets mixed messages and the dizziness, nausea, and sweating start, which very often, results in vomiting.
There are a number of simple rules to follow that can drastically reduce motion sickness.
- Sit smart. Choose a forward-facing seat on a train or bus; the front of a car, or over the wings in an airplane.
- Take medication. Head -off queasiness by taking an over-the-counter medication like Dramamine, 30 to 60 minutes before traveling.
- Use acupressure. Firmly press your palm at the base of your right finger, or wear an acupressure wristband.
- Chat. Talking helps keep your mind off of feeling sick.
- Pop a peppermint. Peppermint helps keep motion sickness at bay by reducing stomach acid.
- Stay focused. Choose a focal point outside the window. This helps keep your eyes and ears in sync.
- Have a light meal. Studies show, that those that eat a light meal a couple of hours prior to a long ride are at less of a risk to get sick than those who travel on an empty stomach or eat heavy, spicy foods.
On a hot, summer day, there is no place anybody wants to be more than at the beach or in a pool. Way too often, peolpe tend to over-look basic water safety guidelines. The majority of water related accidents can be avoided if people would simply follow water-safety rules. Keeping safe will not comprimize on your fun.
- Children or adults, who are not good swimmers should wear life jackets at all times when in or near water. Make sure that the life jacket is the right size. It should not be loose and should be worn with all straps belted, at all times.
- Never use blow-up toys, water rings, and/or rafts as a life jacket.
- Once done swimming, remove all objects from the water so that children should not be tempted to reach in to get the object.
- Inform all adults and teens of the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol. (Some prescribed medications too).
- Always keep your eyes on your child. Never leave your children unattended, even for a split second.
It happens to all of us at one point or another. You are in the midst of cooking or baking when you realize that you are out of an ingredient. Or, perhaps you or a family member has some kind of allergy or intolerance, or maybe you’re just looking to live a healthier life-style. Whatever it may be, here is a short list of the most common ingredient substitutes.
Please note that food made with substituted ingredients may vary slightly in both taste and texture.
All purpose flour: Either use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour or, substitute 1 tablespoon cornstarch for 2 tablespoons of flour.
Cake flour: To substitute 1 cup of cake flour, use 1 cup less 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
Baking powder: For 1 teaspoon baking powder, use ¼ teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar or ¼ teaspoon baking soda and ½ cup sour milk, buttermilk or molasses; reduce other liquid by ½ cup.
Most people who do not know the first thing about cooking will fill every available inch of their kitchen with the newest gadgets, the ones that seem to promise the world. However, if you’re just starting out, or are on a tighter budget, these fancy items are really not necessary. In fact, more often than not, they are simply space-wasters.
The following are 5 must-have kitchen utensils that without them, it is practically impossible to be a chef.
- Knives and cutting boards: Pretty much anything that’s cooked has to be cut up one way or another. Cooking without a knife is like living without air. You simply cannot do without it. That being said, what’s a knife without a cutting board? Aside for protecting the counter tops, cutting boards have a number of other functions, including preventing and reducing knife injuries, reducing clutter, catching spill-overs, etc.
- Measuring spoons and measuring cups: Whether you’re the kind of person that needs to know the exact measurements for cooking or you shake a little bit of this and a little bit of that, there will always be a time when you will have no option but to turn to your measuring spoons and cups. A good recipe can turn disastrous by what seems to you to be a minor mis-measurement.
- Mixing bowls: Every recipe calls for combining ingredients and that is where mixing bowl come in. The good news is, mixing bowls provide for more than just bowls for mixing. They can be used as serving bowls for side dishes or as salad bowls as well.
Cucumbers are truly an incredible work of art. They are way more resourceful than you can ever imagine. If you think the only thing cucumbers are good for is to be tossed into a salad, think again!
- By eating one cucumber a day, you get a healthy dose of vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
- Eating a cucumber will provide you with a speedy boost that can last for hours, just like caffeine, but in a healthier way, since cucumbers contain all those vitamin B’s in addition to carbs.
- Rubbing a piece of cucumber over your bathroom mirror will defog it, and create a soothing scent that will make you feel like you’re in a spa.
Yummm…. Nothing like waking up to a fresh cup of coffee. The aroma, the warmth, and of course, the flavor. Caffeine aside, that cup of java has a lot to offer.
Legend has it that in the 800’s, a young goatherd in Ethiopia, found that his goats looked very energized after nibbling on a berry shrub. He tasted the berries himself and found that they did actually give him an extra boost.
Although there are 66 known coffee plants, only two are commonly used. Grown primarily in the mountains of Central and Southern America, Arabica beans account for 3/4 of the world’s coffee production. They actually have a better aroma, and are more flavorful, in addition to being more costly, than the Robusta beans. Robusta beans, as its name implies, are more robust and account for the remaining ¼ of coffee production. They are used in most canned coffee blends because they are cheaper, as well as in espresso blends, since they create an enhanced cap on the drink.
If you are a true coffee aficionado, opt for the freshly ground beans so that you can brew your own coffee. Buy the freshest beans available, given that coffee tends to go stale once it has been roasted. Ground coffee should always be stored in an airtight, opaque container to keep it fresh. Keeping coffee in the refrigerator will dampen it and since moisture is coffee’s enemy you can say bye-bye. The freezer, however, does an excellent job in a pinch, if you have coffee that you can’t use up in a reasonable amount of time.