Daily Archives: August 27, 2012

DIY Monday: Kool-Aid Lip Gloss

I’m one of those kinda girls that ALWAYS has some lip gloss with her! And I just don’t use any old kinda lip gloss either! I like mine to be flavored! So today I introduce to you the most easiest and fun-est do it yourself project ever, kool-aid lip balm. It’s just five ingredients and really simple to make.

Here’s What You Need

10 teaspoons Vaseline or a petroleum free alternative
4 teaspoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons shea butter
1 package unsweetened kool-aid or crystal light
1-2 packets of sweetner
microwave safe bowl or double boiler
spatula (spoon)
Old marinade injector (optional)
Lip gloss containers

Add Vaseline, coconut oil and shea butter in a microwave safe bowl or double boiler (if you have one)

Heat the mixture in the microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring between each heating.
Keep repeating this step and make sure to stir, stir and stir some more in between each heating
Note that the mixture will be liquid when it is fully melted and VERY HOT!
Make sure you wear gloves or oven mitts and make sure children and clumpsy friends are being SUPERVISED!

Once melted take out of microwave.
Let mixture cool for just a few seconds and stir in the kool-aid a little at a time.
Make sure it starts to dissolve (keep stiring!)
The more kool-aid you add the darker it gets. So this is up to you what you want your lip gloss to look like.

Now if you use Crystal Light the flavor is so much better.

But since Kool-Aid is bitter just simply pour in a couple packets of sweetner to add a little sweetness for your lips.

If you see that the mixture is starting to solidify you can heat again for another 30 seconds – skip this step if it is still liquidy.

Use an old marinade injector or pour mixture into your lip gloss containers and leave to solidify – a couple hours

Let cool before using or giving as gifts.
And for something extra fancy use a custom sticker or even a sharpie to write on the lid.
Have fun, kisses!

* DESIGNER’S NOTE – This project calls for A LOT of stirring until the crystals are fully melted.
Otherwise your lip balm will be gritty.

Top 10 Reasons To Become A Vegetarian

Vegetarianism is not viewed to me as just a diet, but a different way of thinking, a different lifestyle. My overall goal is to share the passion of healthy living as well as to make this healthy lifestyle known to as many people as I possibly can. So join me today and become a part of the reasons. Reasons To Become A Vegetarian – No matter what type of Vegetarian you choose to be!

1. Live Longer

Numerous University studies have found that vegetarians live about seven years longer than non-vegetarians, and vegans live on average about 15 years longer than meat eaters. Studies such as these are further confirmed by the Chinese Health Project, which is the largest population study on diet and health to date. The Chinese Health Study found Chinese people who eat the least amount of fat and animal products have the lowest risk of heart attack, cancer, and other serious diseases.

In addition to this, proof comes from a British research group that tracked 6,000 Vegetarians and 5,000 meat eaters for 12 years to find that vegetarians were 40 percent less likely to die from cancer during that time and 20 percent less likely to die from other diseases. See the Vegetarian FAQ!

2. You’ll make regular visits to the restroom

Veggies are the best source for fiber, which pushes waste out of the body. Meat contains no fiber and collects against the walls of the digestive tract, which can lead to colon cancer. Studies done at Harvard and Brigham Women’s Hospital concluded that people who ate a high-fiber diet had a 42 percent lower risk of diverticulitis. People who eat a high percentage of vegetables in their diets also tend to have fewer counts of constipation, hemorrhoids and spastic colons.

3. Healthy heart

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidant nutrients that protect the heart and the arteries. Fruits and vegetables contain no saturated fat or cholesterol.

The cholesterol levels for vegetarians are on average 14 percent lower than meat eaters. The American diet that is loaded with saturated fats and cholesterol from meat and dairy have made heart disease the number one killer in the United States.

4. Avoid toxic chemicals

95% of pesticide residue in the Western diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products. Seafood, in particular, contain carcinogens (PCBs, DDT) and heavy metals (mercury, arsenic; lead, cadmium) that cannot be removed through cooking or freezing. Meat and dairy products are also laced with steroids and hormones that are injected into the animals to combat disease.

5. You will give your body a detox

Fruit and vegetable juices contain phytochemicals that help our bodies detoxify naturally. Giving up meat helps rid the body of toxins (environmental pollutants, pesticides, and preservatives) that overload our systems and cause illness. Many of these additives cannot be assimilated and pool in various parts of the body.

6. Great Looking Body And Skinnier

A great reason to become Vegetarian is on average, most vegetarians are slimmer than meat eaters. Vegetarian diets are much lower in calories than the standard American diet. Vegetarians are also less likely to suffer from weight-related disorders like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Vegetarian FAQ!

7. Save Lot’s of Money

By replacing meat, chicken and fish with vegetables and fruits, it is estimated to cut your food bill by an average of $4,000 a year.

8. Be environmental friendly

By being a Vegetarian you will help reduce waste and air pollution. A farms in Milford, Utah, which raises 2.5 million pigs yearly, produces more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles. And this is just one farm. Each year, our nation’s factory farms, collectively produce 2 billion tons of manure, a substance that’s rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the country’s top 10 pollutants. And that is not even taking in to account the amount of methane gas released by cows, pigs and poultry, which contributes to the greenhouse effect); the ammonia gases from urine; poison gases that emanate from manure lagoons; toxic chemicals from pesticides; and exhaust from farm equipment used to raise feed for animals.

9. Vegetarians are More Efficient

Right now, 72% of all the grain that is produced in the United States is fed to animals, which are raised for slaughter. It takes about 15 pounds of feed to get one pound of meat. But if this same grain was given directly to people, there would be enough food to feed the entire planet. Using land for animal agriculture is inefficient in terms of maximizing food production. According to the journal of Soil and Water, one acre of land could produce 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots or just 250 pounds of beef. You do the math!

10. Its The Humane Thing To Do

Albert Einstein was quoted as saying “Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.

FYI – Did you know that 22 million animals are slaughtered to support the American appetite for meat? It is a great feeling to finish a healthy meal knowing that no beings have suffered.

COPYRIGHT © 2009 – 2012 The Knowledge Source, LLC. All rights reserved.

5 Reasons To Go Meatless

It’s no secret that the American meat-heavy diet could use a serious overhaul. We consume nearly one and a half times more meat than most industrialized nations and use more than 50 percent of our water and land to raise livestock. This heavy reliance on animal protein is taking a toll on our health and contributing to a multitude of environmental concerns, including global warming, air and water pollution.

While a full vegetarian diet may seem a bit too extreme, here are five good reasons to consider going meatless, at least part of the time.

Health professionals have been warning us for some time now that diets high in meat load us down with saturated fat, increasing our risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. According to Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, giving up meat even one day a week can reduce consumption of harmful fat by 15 percent. Further studies also point to a decreased risk of breast cancer in women who eat meat less frequently because saturated fat stimulates certain types of estrogen-receptive tumors.

Diets heavy in meat really rack up the grocery bill. Pound for pound, animal proteins cost three times the amount of beans or whole grains, and going meatless now and again can make a serious dent in your food budget. Unlike the minimal storage life of meat, canned or dried ingredients used in many vegetarian recipes stay fresh in your pantry for months at a time, making bulk purchasing a further savings for the savvy shopper.

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t need to watch calories? Going meatless can be very good for your waistline. Diets higher in complex carbohydrates (whole wheat, cornmeal, oats, potatoes, brown rice and beans) are low in fat and fill us up quickly, translating to lower calorie intake and fewer cravings between meals. Vegetarian meals are also richer in vitamins and minerals, especially when combined with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

There is growing evidence that human resistance to certain antibiotics is linked to similar substances used to prevent illness and promote weight gain in animals raised in factory farms, where most commercial meat comes from. Limiting quantities of poultry and red meat can help protect our immune systems from harmful byproducts and even contagious disease.

Climate change and global warming are high on our list of worries these days, and many of us wonder how we can make a difference. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American skipped just one serving of meat per week, this would be the same as taking 8 million cars off the road. This would reduce overall meat production and supply transport, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions considerably.

If you are thinking about going meatless — at least some of the time — the trick is to shake up your menu gradually and experiment a bit. Start with one of your favorite recipes and see how simple it is to replace the meat with a vegetarian alternative. Beans make a delicious, protein-rich filling for Mexican favorites like tacos or burritos.

Try topping homemade pizza with portabella mushrooms instead of pepperoni or sausage. Don’t give up too many of the foods you enjoy — just be creative and learn to prepare them in new, healthier ways. Even moderate changes can make an enormous difference in your health and contribute to the welfare of our planet.

Source: Copyright © 2008-2012. All rights reserved. MyDailyMoment is a trademark of Flatiron Media, LLC.

10 Diabetes-Friendly Meals That Beat Belly Fat

These recipes are delicious: That’s the first thing you need to know. And we’re not talking “delicious for diabetes-friendly” food—no, these are good without any ifs or ands. The only but is that all 10 of the following recipes are especially formulated to help flatten your belly and fight diabetes. Some are loaded with fruits and veggies, others feature lean proteins or fish, some contain whole grains—and all have an added dash of monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs (moo-fahs) for short, which help target belly fat, control blood sugar levels, and reduce insulin resistance.

Whether you’re craving French toast, pasta salad, or chicken parm these 10 meals will help keep your blood sugar steady, your taste buds happy and your belly nice and slim.

1. Strawberry Almond French Toast: It’s the quintessential Sunday morning breakfast—with a twist: Swap standard white for whole grain bread (one study showed that simple step could reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 20%); and top your toast with strawberries (which research suggests helps regulate blood sugar) and MUFA-rich almonds.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 1 teaspoon trans-free margarine
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl with the milk and cinnamon. Dip both sides of the bread in the egg mixture.

2. Melt the margarine in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the bread for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden. Cut in half diagonally.

3. Place half on a plate. Top with half of the strawberries and almonds. Cover with the other toast half and the remaining strawberries and almonds.

*Chef’s Note – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 3 slices Applegate Farms Organic Turkey Bacon (105).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES  ~  303.9 CAL
FAT  ~  15.7 G
SATURATED FAT  ~  3.2 G
SODIUM  ~  267.9 MG
CARBOHYDRATES  ~  26.1 G
TOTAL SUGARS  ~  9.4 G
DIETARY FIBER  ~  5.4 G
PROTEIN  ~  15.8 G

2. Tortellini Pasta Salad: Yes, you can most definitely still have pasta—just bulk up the dish with nutrient-rich vegetables, like broccoli— it’s packed with cancer-fighting vitamin A and it’s a good source of fiber, which helps slow the rise of blood sugar after you eat. Stir in belly-flattening olives and 2 tablespoons of pesto for extra flavor and more MUFAs.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated tricolor cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups trimmed sugar snap peas
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 40 chopped black olives
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • fresh basil (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the tortellini into a large pot of boiling water. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar snap peas, carrots, and broccoli and cook for the last 3 minutes, or until tender but still crisp.

2. Drain the pasta and vegetables, and rinse with cold water. Place into a large bowl and toss with the pesto. Gently fold in the tomatoes, olives, and pepper. Garnish with basil, if using.

*Chef’s Notes – A SINGLE SERVING OF THIS RECIPE COUNTS as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 366.7 CAL
FAT ~ 13.1 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3.9 G
SODIUM ~ 776.1 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 50.2 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 8.7 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 8 G
PROTEIN ~ 14.7 G

3. Guacamole and Chips: You’ve heard people say avocado is full of “good” fat, but do you know how good it is? Research suggests MUFAs (found in avocados and other foods) not only help you lose weight and shrink belly fat, but they specifically reduce visceral belly fat—the dangerous kind found deep in your abdomen and strongly associated with prediabetes and diabetes. That’s good stuff. So enjoy your guac, but skip the store-bought chips (even if they come in a cool shape); instead, slice healthier whole wheat tortillas into wedges and bake until crisp and almost puffy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups mashed Hass avocado
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, minced (wear gloves when handling)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon green or red hot sauce, such as tabasco (optional)
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas (8″ diameter)
  • vegetable oil spray
  • chili powder

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, pepper, salt, and hot sauce (if using) in a medium bowl. Stir until combined.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the tortillas on a work surface. Coat lightly with vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle lightly with chili powder. Flip the tortillas and repeat with the spray and chili powder.

3. Place the tortillas in a stack. With a serrated knife, cut the stack into 8 equal wedges. Spread the triangles out on a baking sheet or sheets so they are not touching. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until crisp and starting to puff. Let stand to cool. Serve right away with the guacamole or store in an airtight container.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 1/2 cup mashed black beans (110) and 1/2 fresh mango (67).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 205.4 CAL
FAT ~ 10.8 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 1.2 G
SODIUM ~ 352.1 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 23.3 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 2.1 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 5.8 G
PROTEIN ~ 4.5 G

4. Salmon Sandwiches: Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3. Omega-3s help cool chronic inflammation in the body, a major contributor to age-related conditions like insulin resistance and diabetes. Plus, studies show consuming healthy amounts of fish significantly reduces your risk of heart disease. Stick to two servings a week—and choose the kinds with lower levels of toxins, like wild salmon (available in less expensive cans versus pricier fillets), as well as mackerel and herring.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup canola oil mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 2 cups (14.75-ounce can) canned Alaskan wild salmon, drained
  • 8 thin slices 100% whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 4 thin slices red onion
  • 4 thin rings red bell pepper
  • 4 teaspoons sliced pickled ginger
  • 1 cup arugula

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine the mayonnaise and 1/4 teaspoon of the wasabi paste and stir until smooth. Add more wasabi, if desired, to suit your taste. Gently fold in the salmon.

2. Place 4 slices of the bread on a work surface and top each with 1/2 cup of the salmon mixture, 1 onion slice separated into rings, 1 pepper ring, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 cup arugula. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 1/4 cup frozen, thawed shelled edamame (61).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 345.5 CAL
FAT ~ 15.8 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 1 G
SODIUM ~ 608.8 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 27.7 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 4.9 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 4.7 G
PROTEIN ~ 19.4 G

5. Chicken Parmesan: Mix finely chopped pine nuts into the bread crumbs before coating the cutlets for an extra boost of MUFAs. A large international study found people with type 2 diabetes who followed a Mediterranean-style diet enriched with MUFAs dropped fasting blood sugar levels by up to 30 points—that’s enough to perhaps reduce doses of diabetes medications, or even eliminate them altogether. Make the bread crumbs whole wheat and you help protect your heart, too.

INGREDIENTS

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup pine nuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
4 chicken cutlets (about 3 ounces each)
2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Whisk the egg with the water in a shallow dish. Combine the pine nuts, bread crumbs, and seasoning in another shallow dish. Dip the chicken into the egg and then the nut mixture. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.

3. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over and top each with 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce and some of the cheese. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until the cheese has melted and the chicken is cooked through.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 2 cups steamed spaghetti squash (84).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 327.8 CAL
FAT ~ 18.3 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3.1 G
SODIUM ~ 680.7 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 14.5 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 1.1 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 2.9 G
PROTEIN ~ 28.9 G

6. Greek Eggplant Casserole: The Greeks like beef in their casserole, so don’t skimp—the meat is good for you. Studies show diets high in protein help you better manage blood sugar. (The fiber in eggplants does, too.) Plus, protein contains an amino acid called leucine that helps preserve more muscle when you diet—the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns all day Just be sure to choose 97% lean ground beef to limit unhealthy saturated fat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 pound 97% lean ground beef
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 eggplants, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4″-thick slices
  • 6 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the broiler. Coat a 9″ x 9″ baking dish and a large baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.

2. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the beef and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, or until the beef is browned and cooked through. Stir in the tomatoes (with juice), tomato paste, cinnamon, and allspice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Place half of the eggplant on the prepared baking sheet and brush with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Broil 6″ from the heat for 10 minutes or until browned, turning once. Repeat.

4. Whisk together the milk and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, whisking, for 8 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.

5. Layer half of the eggplant in the baking dish, then half of the meat sauce. Repeat. Spread the cheese sauce on top. Broil for 3 minutes, or until just starting to brown.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 1/2 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt (60).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 341.9 CAL
FAT ~ 19.9 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 4.4 G
SODIUM ~ 339.6 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 20.7 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 10.5 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 5.3 G
PROTEIN ~ 19.7 G

7. Barbecue Pulled Pork: It’s hearty, full of flavor, and feels totally indulgent, but the nutrition facts prove otherwise: This barbecue pork recipe is just over 400 calories per serving (a good amount for a healthy meal) and packed with satisfying protein, and the healthy fats in the olive oil may help reduce metabolic syndrome, according to a Spanish study of over 1,200 adults. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that lead to prediabetes and diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke. Just be sure to plan ahead for this one—the meat needs to slow-cook for almost 2 hours.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed of all visible fat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork loin and brown, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes.

2. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the onion starts to turn golden. Add the ketchup, vinegar, molasses, sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and broth.

3. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Uncover the pot and simmer 10 minutes longer, or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the pork is very tender. Remove from the heat.

5. Pull the pork into shreds with two forks and serve on whole wheat hamburger buns.

*Chef’s Notes – A SINGLE SERVING OF THIS RECIPE COUNTS as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons!

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 419.1 CAL
FAT ~ 18.7 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3 G
SODIUM ~ 807.5 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 35.4 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 14.1 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 3.8 G
PROTEIN ~ 28.9 G

8. Mexican Stuffed Peppers: Jalapeño peppers and chili powder give this veggie dish some Mexican heat; the cheese gives you calcium to build strong bones and burn more fat; the brown rice gives your body insoluble fiber to help keep blood sugar steady; and the tomatoes provide carotenoids that help protect against cancer.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper, stemmed, halved, and seeded (wear plastic gloves when handling)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large poblano or Cubanelle peppers
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat monterey jack cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the pine nuts in a small baking dish or skillet for about 8 minutes to lightly toast while the oven heats. Tip onto a plate.

2. Combine the jalapeno pepper, garlic, stewed tomatoes with juice, broth or water, and 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of the chili powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process to a medium-coarse texture. Pour into a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish and set aside.

3. Mix the rice, corn, plum tomatoes, onion, egg whites, salt, toasted nuts, and remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder in a medium bowl. Halve the poblano or Cubanelle peppers lengthwise and remove the stems and seeds. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the stuffing into each pepper half and place stuffed side up in the reserved sauce in the baking dish.

4. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.

5. Remove the foil and sprinkle the peppers evenly with the cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes longer, or until the cheese has melted. Serve the peppers with the sauce.

*Chef’s Notes – A SINGLE SERVING OF THIS RECIPE COUNTS as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons!

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 395 CAL
FAT ~ 17.7 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3.8 G
SODIUM ~ 418 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 50.2 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 13.4 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 8.3 G
PROTEIN ~ 15.7 G

9. Roasted Potatoes with Blue Cheese & Walnuts: They’re the perfect side to a lean piece of broiled flank steak for two reasons. These potatoes are topped with coarsely chopped walnuts—studies show MUFAs help you lose weight, but Mediterranean-style diets that include nuts in particular help you keep the weight off. They’re also topped with blue cheese crumbles—and those are just delicious.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound thin-skinned baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a 9″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Place the potatoes in the prepared dish and toss with the oil, pepper, and salt. Turn cut side down in the pan. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until very tender and lightly golden on the underside.

2. Meanwhile, put the walnuts in a small baking pan or ovenproof skillet and place in the oven to toast for 6 to 8 minutes. Tip into a bowl and let cool. Add the blue cheese and scallions and crumble with your fingers.

3. When the potatoes are done, turn them over and sprinkle evenly with the walnut mixture. Bake for 5 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Add 3 ounces lean broiled flank steak (165). Serve with 1/2 sliced apple (39).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 242.7 CAL
FAT ~ 15.5 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3.8 G
SODIUM ~ 278.8 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 21 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 1.8 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 3.1 G
PROTEIN ~ 7.6 G

10. Chocolate Almond Macaroons: Not only can you sink your sweet tooth into these cookies without an ounce of guilt, but you’re encouraged to dunk the decadent confections into chocolate sauce before taking a bite. That’s because dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants called flavonols that keep arteries flexible, keep blood pressure low, and—when eaten in small quantities—even improve the way your cells absorb sugar. Just stick to healthy portions—and indulge once a day at most.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Toast the almonds in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, stirring often, for about 3 minutes, or until golden. Tip into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Process until the almonds are finely ground.

4. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar until the whites hold stiff peaks. Beat in the cocoa, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Gently fold in the almonds.

5. Drop the mixture by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1″ between each macaroon. Bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Place baking sheets on a rack and let macaroons cool until firm.

6. Make the sauce by heating the chocolate, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. Serve warm.

*Chef’s Notes – A SINGLE SERVING OF THIS RECIPE COUNTS as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons!

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 372.4 CAL
FAT ~ 19.2 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 6.6 G
SODIUM ~ 156.6 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 48.6 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 41.5 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 4.8 G
PROTEIN ~ 9.3 G

Copyright ©2012 Rodale Inc. “Prevention” and “Prevention.com” are registered trademarks of Rodale Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction, transmission or display is permitted without the written permissions of Rodale Inc.

7 Foods You Should Never Eat

Written by Lacy Boggs Renner

Sometimes, even foods that seem healthy can harbor hidden problems that can affect our health and our planet. Here are seven foods you should never eat—and easy swaps to help eliminate them from your kitchen.

1. Conventional Apples
Right at the top of the “dirty dozen” list, conventional apples are sprayed with the most pesticides of almost any fruit because their growing method means they don’t develop natural pest resistance. Farm workers exposed to these pesticides have documented higher incidents of cancer, and more and more studies are linking pesticides in the body to Parkinson’s disease.

Make the switch: Buy organic apples! If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel apples before eating (although that won’t rid the fruit of all pesticides).

2. Conventionally Grown Potatoes
Think about it: A potato is a root vegetable, and plants absorb nutrients—and other junk—from the soil through their roots. That means that potatoes take up and store more of the chemical fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides that conventional farmers spray on their crops. Plus, after they are harvested, conventional potatoes are treated with another chemical to prevent them from sprouting on the shelf. Because the potato stores these toxins in its flesh, just scrubbing (or even peeling) won’t remove the pesticides and other chemicals.

Make the swap: Buy organic potatoes—even frozen ones.

3. Corn-Fed Beef
The biggest problems with corn-fed beef start with the corn, because cows evolved to eat grasses, not grains. Eating corn actually makes the cattle sick, requiring that farmers dose them with high levels of antibiotics. But feeding corn to cows isn’t just bad for the cows; it’s bad for the environment, too, as conventionally grown corn requires tons of fertilizers and pesticides that pollute the environment.

Make the swap: Buy grass-fed beef instead of corn-fed and enjoy higher levels of good nutrients like omega-3s and vitamin E, and lower levels of bad stuff like inflammatory omega-6s and saturated fat. Look for cheaper cuts on the bone to help offset the premium price for grass-fed beef.

4. Canned Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which can help guard against agressive cancers like prostate cancer. But the resin used to line tin cans to protect from corrosion by the acid in tomatoes contains bisphenol-A, or BPA, which acts as a synthetic estrogen in the body. It can disrupt the endocrine system and cause a variety of problems, like chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the acidity of tomatoes helps break down the BPA which leaches into the food, making canned tomatoes one of the biggest culprits when it comes to ingesting BPA. Scientists with the National Institutes of Health have concluded that pregnant women, infants and children are at highest risk from exposure to BPA.

Make the swap: The best solution is to look for brands sold in glass jars or Tetra Pak boxes.

5. Microwave Popcorn
Did you hear about the guy who got popcorn lung from eating more than two bags of microwave popcorn a day? It turns out that even if your popcorn habit isn’t quite as extreme, chemicals like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) found in the lining of the bag and diacetyl, which is used in the butter flavoring, could cause major health problems. Microwaving these chemicals causes them to vaporize, and then the miniature particles can make their way into your popcorn and your lungs if you inhale the steam from the bag.

Make the swap: Pop your own kernels the old fashioned way. You’ll be able to add your own natural seasonings, and as a bonus, unpopped popcorn kernels are dirt cheap.

6. Milk With rBGH
rBGH stands for recombinant bovine growth hormone, and it’s given to dairy cows to boost their milk production. But, it’s been shown to increase udder infections and even lead to pus in the milk! It also increases a hormone called insulin-like growth factor, which is thought to be linked to an increased risk for breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and early puberty.

Make the switch: Look for milk that says rBGH-free or rBST-free, or buy organic milk. You can also make the switch to a non-dairy milk.

7. Farmed Salmon
When we think of factory farming, cows or maybe chickens tend to come to mind. But, it turns out farmed salmon live in similarly horrible conditions. In addition to overcrowding, farm salmon are fed a diet of soy, poultry litter (which means chicken poop) and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. They also have been found to be contaminated with all kinds of chemicals—which probably are run off into the pools where they are farmed. Plus, waste from the salmon pens is released directly into the open ocean. The Environmental Defense Fund lists farmed salmon as an eco-worst choice.

Make the swap: Look for wild-caught Alaskan salmon. The brand Wild Catch is almost the only brand which sells canned wild salmon.

Source: © 2010 OrganicAuthority, LLC

6 Drinks That Shrink Your Belly

That ice-cold lemonade may hit the spot on a 90-degree day, but it’s not doing your waistline any favors. A 20-ounce Minute Maid Lemonade contains 250 calories and 68 g of sugar. Fortunately, there are plenty of refreshing summer drinks that you can drink without guilt—and they may actually help you lose weight. Here are six ways to quench your thirst without packing on pounds.

1. Flavored WaterStaying hydrated is important when you’re trying to lose weight. Drinking plenty of water helps your body maintain proper fluid balance, stops water retention (a big cause of bloated bellies), and even increases the feeling of fullness so you eat less overall. But if plain water bores you, spruce it up with fresh herbs, citrus fruits, and other low-cal flavor enhancers (sliced cucumbers work well too) to encourage you to drink up.

Herb-Infused Spa Water

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chilled still spring or mineral water
  • 12 thin slices cucumber
  • 4 thin slices lemon
  • 4 sprigs (each 2 in. long) fresh mint, slightly crushed
  • 2 sprigs (each 2 in. long) fresh rosemary, slightly crushed

Instructions

In a 2- to 2 1/2-quart pitcher, combine water, cucumber, lemon, mint, and rosemary. Serve, or cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Add ice cubes just before serving.

2. Watermelon Smoothie: As long as they’re made without sugary mixers like sherbet, smoothies are a guilt-free way to hydrate—and watermelon is a terrific, low-cal smoothie base. Not only is it a natural hydrator because of its water content, watermelon is also loaded with nutrients, including cancer-fighting lycopene, as well as an amino acid known as arginine. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that arginine can decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass, so whip up this 56-calorie metabolism booster and sip away!

Strawberry & Watermelon Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
  • 1 – 8 ounce lemon, fat-free yogurt
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 5 ice cubes

Instructions

In a blender or food processor, combine yogurt, watermelon, strawberries, honey and ice cubes.

3. Iced Peppermint Tea: This minty thirst quencher is super refreshing on a hot summer day, but it’s also a super-effective belly flattener. Peppermint helps your stomach process fat, ensuring even high-fat foods like burgers and steaks are digested quickly, which helps prevent bloat.

Easiest Peppermint Iced Tea

Ingredients

  • 4 peppermint tea bags
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • lemon slice (optional)

Instructions

1. In a 2 quart heatproof pitcher, pour two cups of boiling water over the tea bags.
2. Steep them for 6 minutes and then remove the tea bags.
3. Stir the honey and lemon juice into the hot tea and then add 2 cups cold water.
4. Chill and serve over ice with or without a lemon slice garnish.
5. Chill out and enjoy!

4. Pineapple Frappe: This blended pineapple drink tastes like a beach vacation in a glass—and it packs in two belly-flattening ingredients. A tablespoon of flaxseed oil adds monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), proven belly flatteners, and pineapple itself contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps break down protein, ease digestion, and banish bloat.

Pineapple and Mint Frappe

Ingredients

  • 1 pineapple, peeled, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 12 ice cubes
  • mint sprigs, to serve

Instructions

Place pineapple, mint and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses. Top with mint sprigs. Serve.

5. Green Tea: Besides reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease, green tea benefits the whole body and contains catechins, antioxidants that studies show can help reduce belly fat. If you sip green tea before a workout, these compounds can also increase your fat burn during aerobic exercise.

Citrus-Honey Green Tea

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 inch) piece lemon zest, cut into thin slivers
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons green tea powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

Put lemon zest into a large cup or mug. Cover with 2 teaspoons boiling water and let steep for about 3 minutes. Stir in the green tea powder and hot water. Add the grapefruit juice, lemon juice and honey. Mix well and serve.

6. Dark Chocolate Shake: Really? Yes, really. Chocolate—especially the dark kind—helps you slim you down because it decreases appetite and lessens food cravings overall. However, at nearly 400 calories, this shake is more of a meal than a snack. Try it for a quick breakfast to keep your appetite tamed for hours.

Dark Chocolate Shake

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk, soy milk, rice milk or nut milk
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon nama shoyu or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Dark chocolate bar with or without nuts

Instructions

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, preferably a Vita-Mix.
2. Shave off chocolate as a garnish, and sprinkle on top of shake.

© 2010 OrganicAuthority, LLC

Our Daily Bread – Sleepless In Heaven

Read: Psalm 121

One of the most dangerous aspects of flying is the landing. As the aircraft gets closer to land, the air traffic is more congested, the weather on the ground may be far worse than the weather at 30,000 feet, and the runways may not be clear of other planes. So pilots rely on the air-traffic controller to coordinate all the details so that every plane can arrive without incident. Without the air-traffic controller, chaos would be certain.

Imagine, then, the panic when the pilot of an airliner full of passengers radioed the tower and got no answer. It was eventually discovered that the air-traffic controller was in fact there but sound asleep, putting pilot, passengers, and plane in great jeopardy. The good news is that the plane landed safely.

Even better news is that God, the ultimate traffic controller, neither slumbers nor sleeps. From His heavenly vantage point, He knows all that is going on in and around your life. As the psalmist notes, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber” (121:2-3).

You can count on it—God knows the impending dangers and will tirelessly direct the traffic of your life for your good and His glory (Rom. 8:28).

When trouble stalks the path we tread,
We need assurance, Lord, to know
That all our steps are being led—
That You, our God, are in control. —D. De Haan
Because God never sleeps, we can be at peace.

Our Daily Bread – Off-Limits

Read: Romans 5:1-8

As a 12-year-old, I was curious about the Bible my dad was given when he retired from the paper mill. It came in a special cedar box marked The Holy Bible, and I assumed that “holy” meant it was off-limits to me. But still I peered inside. In the center of the Bible was a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross, along with the words of John 3:16. There was also a see-through red film covering the page, which I assumed meant He bled and died.

Occasionally, when no one else was looking, I would gently pull the holy Book off the shelf, open the box, look at the picture of Jesus on the cross, read the verse, and wonder about this Man and why He died. I wondered if His love was meant for me or if it too was off-limits.

Several years later I heard a message about how God had provided access to His love through Jesus. Romans 5:1-2 tells us: “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand.” I believed and received Jesus’ salvation from my sin.

Aren’t you thankful that the Bible and God’s love aren’t off-limits? Receive His forgiveness—it’s meant for unholy people like you and me.

How precious is God’s holy Word—
Its pages every one!
They lead us to the Living Word—
To Jesus, God’s dear Son. —D. De Haan
The Bible is God’s love letter to us.

Never Disappointed

Today’s Scripture:

…those who hope in me will not be disappointed. – Isaiah 49:23, NIV.

Today’s Word:

What a powerful promise we have from Almighty God! When we put our hope in Him, we will never be disappointed. Of course, that doesn’t mean that things will always go our way. There may be temporary disappointments, but we will never be permanently disappointed. Somewhere down the road, God will cause it to all work out for our good. With God on your side, you will always end in victory!

Are you carrying frustration, worry or aggravation about something? That’s usually a clear sign that your hope is in the wrong place. If you hope in circumstances, it will deplete you of joy and peace. But when you turn those circumstances over to God, when you refuse to worry, when you refuse to allow the temporary things of this world to dictate your happiness, that’s when God can do a work in your life. When you trust in Him, He will make your crooked places straight; He will cause you to mount up with wings like the eagle.

Today, choose to put your hope in the Father; you won’t be disappointed. Trust Him because He is faithful. Find rest for your soul in knowing that He is good, and He has good things in store for your future!

Prayer for Today:

Father, today I give You every frustration, every aggravation, every difficulty. I release total control into Your loving and able hands. Speak to my heart and give me Your peace. Show me Your love as I place my hope in You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

He Opens Supernatural Doors

Posted by Joel Osteen on 8/24/2012

A friend of mine was sitting next to a young man on a plane who grew up in a very poor village in east Africa. Their country was in great famine, and they were struggling just to survive. At seven years old, his father was killed. At twelve years old, his mother died. He was separated from his brothers and sisters and then sent to live with his grandmother. His grandmother was very old and very sick, so at twelve years old, he became her caretaker. He would get up at five in the morning and study for an hour. He loved to study and read and learn. At six o’clock, he would walk to get water—an hour and a half each way. He would come back, make his grandmother breakfast, and then go to the school in the little village. He got out of school at three o’clock, went home, made his grandmother something else to eat, and then took the three-hour walk once again to get more water.

In the natural, it didn’t look like this boy had much of a future. All the odds were against him. He was an orphan living in the slums with no parents and nobody to watch after him. But there was something special about this young man. Deep down, he believed that he was a person of destiny, that he had seeds of greatness on the inside. Every night before going to bed in that little mud hut, he would get down on his knees and say, “Lord, I want to go to college. God, I want to have an education. I want to make a difference with my life.”

There were tens of thousands of young children living in the slums all around him. Nobody ever got out. But when you pray bold prayers of faith, it gets God’s attention. When you believe, it causes the Creator of the universe to respond.

In that country, the children only went to school through junior high. To attend high school, you had to pay tuition. Ninety-nine percent of the children couldn’t afford it. One night at twelve years old, this boy had a dream. In this dream, he saw himself walking through the village to a house about thirty minutes away. At that house, he met a man by the name of Mr. Stanley who was from Belgium. In the dream, Mr. Stanley helped him. When the boy woke up, he remembered the dream so vividly, right down to the smallest detail.

The next morning, he took that thirty-minute walk through the village and saw the exact house that was in his dream. The house was surrounded by guards. He walked up to them and said, “I’m here to see Mr. Stanley.” The guards were amazed, even shocked. They said, “How do you know anything about Mr. Stanley?” He said, “I saw him in a dream.” Intrigued, Mr. Stanley invited him in and said, “Son, what can I do for you?” The young boy said, “I want to go to school, but I have no money. I’m an orphan. I live in the slums.”

Mr. Stanley said, “You go find the best high school you can find, and I’ll pay your tuition. I’ll give you the books. I’ll pay for all your supplies. Anything you need, I’ll take care of it.”

In high school, the teachers noticed what an excellent student he was and how he loved to learn. They got him an internship at the Parliament working underneath the government officials, the lawmakers. They, too, could see there was something special about him. When he graduated from high school, the government said, “We’re going to send you to college in America to study law.”

My friend was sitting next to him on the plane. He had just gotten his law degree and was headed back to his country. My friend said to him, “They have groomed you to become the Prime Minister, haven’t they?” He smiled and said, “What you are saying, ma’am, is true.”

Friends, when you pray bold prayers, you never know where God is going to take you. When you follow the desires He has placed in your heart, He opens supernatural doors. He will connect you to the right people. He will go before you and make the crooked places straight. He will even speak to you in dreams. What you couldn’t make happen on your own, God can make happen for you! He is not limited by your background, by what country you come from, by your education or by your talent. Open your heart and mind to Him and believe that He will do exceedingly, abundantly in every area of your life!

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NIV).

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries