Category Archives: Food & Drink

Carrot Smoothie

Carrot SmoothieEver wondered why does a Carrot Smoothie always taste better when bought? Get so frustrated when you spend too much time preparing it and it turns out to be a “yuckie?”

Here is a simple recipe with a little twist.

Quick MealQuick Meal
Nutritional Info (Per serving):

Calories: 55, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 16mg, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Total Fat: 0g, Carbs: 13g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Protein: 1g

Exchanges: Vegetable: 0.5, Fruit: 0.5
Carb Choices: 1
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Rest Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins


  • 1 cup(s) carrot(s), sliced
  • 1 cup(s) orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) ice cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange peel, finely shredded


1. In a covered small saucepan, cook carrots in a small amount of boiling water about 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain well. Cool.

2. Place drained carrots in a blender. Add finely shredded orange peel and orange juice. Cover and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes; cover and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses. If desired, garnish with orange peel curls.

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Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Education, Food & Drink, Health & Medicine


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Superfoods for Your Diabetes Diet

A type 2 diabetes diet isn’t just about what you shouldn’t eat. Add these “superfoods” to give you an edge in managing diabetes.

By Dennis Thompson Jr.
Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
Original post here
Everyone knows you have to cut back on or eliminate certain foods once you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. But there are also foods that can help with managing type 2 diabetes, either by providing powerhouse portions of nutrients or by helping quell the ebb and flow of your blood sugar levels. “Diabetes ‘superfoods’ are foods that are low-fat and high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber,” says dietitian Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE, a certified diabetes educator and president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association. Making these foods part of a comprehensive diabetes diet can make a real difference in managing diabetes.

beans for fiberBeans for Fiber

Incredibly high in fiber and protein, just a half cup of any type of beans will provide about a third of your daily requirement of fiber and as much protein as an ounce of meat. Because of this, beans are wonderful for managing blood glucose levels, giving the body nutrients to slowly digest and process. “They help control the post-meal blood sugar rise,” McLaughlin says. Beans also are great sources of magnesium and potassium.

fish for fatty acidFish for Fatty Acids

“Salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, halibut, and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to be heart-healthy, as long as these [fish] are not breaded and deep-fried,” McLaughlin says. One study also suggests that eating fish at least twice a week may protect people with diabetes against kidney problems.

nuts for healthy fat

Nuts for Healthy Fat

Nuts are very filling and contain high levels of unsaturated fats, the kind that contributes to “good” cholesterol. Some nuts and seeds like walnuts and flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also deliver healthy doses of fiber and magnesium.

berries for antioxidantsBerries for Antioxidants

All berries contain good levels of antioxidants, McLaughlin says. They are heart-healthy, cancer-preventing, and fat-free. Compared with other fruits, “they provide a comparatively low amount of calories and carbohydrates considering their serving size,” McLaughlin says. Berries also contain vitamins and fiber.

broccoli for vitamins

Broccoli for Vitamins

High in vitamins A and C, broccoli is another low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, high-fiber food that has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, McLaughlin says. Broccoli also is very filling, a plus for people who need to lose weight. “Try eating a six-inch salad plate full of cooked broccoli,” she says. “It will fill you up and give you 75 calories at most.”

seet potatoes for fiber

Sweet Potatoes for Fiber

Many people with type 2 diabetes love potatoes, but can’t afford the starch. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative, McLaughlin says. They are high in fiber and vitamins A and C.

leafy green for nutrients

Dark, Leafy Greens for Nutrients

Spinach, collard greens, and kale pack high levels of nutrients like vitamins A and C and calcium, and are low in calories and carbohydrates. Other great choices in this group include bok choy and mustard greens.

whole grains for bld sugar controlWhole Grains for Blood Sugar Control

Any time you want bread, pasta, or cereal, you need to make sure it’s made with whole grains. The germ and bran contained in whole grains have large amounts of nutrients like magnesium, chromium, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate; these are stripped out of wheat when it’s processed into white flour products. Whole-grain foods also contain lots of fiber.

tomatoes for lycopene

Tomatoes for Lycopene

Here’s another colorful vegetable that contains large amounts of nutrients like iron and vitamins C and E. Tomatoes are very versatile and can be used in many different recipes. Cooked tomato products like stewed tomatoes and ketchup also deliver the important nutrient lycopene, which gives tomatoes their red color and has antioxidant properties.

By Dennis Thompson Jr.
Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
Original post here

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Chocolate May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

chocolatesEating high amounts of chocolate may be good for the heart and brain if its sugar and fat content are trimmed down.

By comparing two groups of people with opposite levels of chocolate intake, scientists from the University of Cambridge found that high intake of dark chocolate, or chocolate with only little milk and sugar added, reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 37% and stroke by 29%.
Co-researcher Dr. Oscar Franco pointed out that chocolate is known to decrease blood pressure, but the findings, though promising, need to be tested to confirm the results. This finding, he clarified, should not encourage people who do not eat chocolate to start eating it. He added that those who are already eating chocolate should only take small amounts of it on a regular basis and avoid binge eating.
Excessive consumption of chocolate can lead to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes. Senior heart health dietician  at the British Heart Foundation Victoria Taylor said that though some evidence supports the benefits of chocolate, heart researchers still do not know exactly what it is in chocolate that really helps.
According to Taylor, there are still much better ways to reduce the risk of heart disease than eating chocolate.


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10 Worst Meals for Lunch

food for thoughtThere are many foods that we unanimously think of when we think of lunch; however, many of these foods are not healthy for us. In addition, many of these foods are not doing what they should be doing as a lunch, which is providing us with enough energy to get through the rest of the day. The following 10 worst meals for lunch you can eat may surprise you, and you may find yourself changing your lunch menu from this point on. (by Dave Roberts)

Burger and Fries1. Fast Food Hamburger and Fries – A sensible size burger on its own is not that bad; however, if you add an extra patty, supersize bun, bacon, all the condiments, a few pieces of cheese, and then add some fries to the mixture, you are on your way to heart attack city. Even if your fries are Trans fat free, you are still packing on excess calories that you don’t need midday. In addition, french fries can be hard to digest, which will drain your energy and ruin your productivity for the rest of the day.

Convenience Store Premade Sandwiches2. Convenience Store Premade Sandwiches – Every convenience store carries a version of a sandwich, and they are definitely convenient! Just grab, heat, and go. But, most premade sandwiches contain unhealthy preservatives to help keep the sandwiches intact until they reach the store. In addition, they contain unhealthy fats, sweeteners, and other additives. If you want a sandwich, take the time to stop into a store that makes sandwiches on the spot or has made them fresh that morning, it will take two extra minutes and be much healthier.

muffins3. Muffins – Muffins have been long thought to be a healthy breakfast idea, and many people eat a muffin and coffee for lunch as well. However, most muffins are made from enriched flour, sugar, and butter which are all unhealthy for you and will cause you to crash as the white flour and sugar have a high glycemic index.

baked potato4. Baked Potato – When you think of baked you think of healthy, and a baked potato is definitely healthier than its cousin the fry is. However, potatoes have a high glycemic index and will cause you to feel tired when eaten because they cause a quick spike in your blood sugar, which quickly drops dramatically and causes you to crash mentally and physically.

Cheese and Enriched Crackers5. Cheese and Enriched Crackers – While cheese is generally accepted to be healthy for you, the crackers are not unless you are eating a certain kind. Most crackers are filled with sugar, additives, fats, and enriched flour. For example, the first ingredient (which means the biggest ingredient) in the popular Ritz cracker is enriched flour. When you eat enriched flour, you are eating wheat that was stripped of its natural make-up and then put back together with other stuff. According to the Global Healing Center, some of those items can be toxic. For instance, they say that the iron added is not really a nutrient at all but rather a metallic iron that is not bioavailable to the human body and is not meant to be consumed. Therefore, look for healthier, whole-grain crackers made from buckwheat, flax, or spelt.

Prepackaged Cheese and Meat Trays6. Prepackaged Cheese and Meat Trays – Prepackaged trays with cheese, crackers, meat, and fruit are so convenient, and so unhealthy. First, they are full of preservatives to make the product last long on the shelf. Second, they are full of salt to help the product taste good. Lastly, they are packed in plastic trays. It is well known that plastic trays used for food packaging are made from Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl), and the chemicals leach out of the plastic and into the items surrounding them, like your cheese and crackers. There are many health issues associated with these chemicals including DNA damage, lung function damage and weight gain. Therefore, you should really avoid any prepackaged meals for lunch.

Take Out Pizza7. Take Out Pizza – Everyone loves a slice or two of pizza at lunch, but if you are buying it out then you are likely consuming over 500 calories and 20 grams of fat. If you add a soda to that, then you are increasing your calories significantly. In addition, pizza is made from enriched flour, which can cause you to lose energy and productivity throughout the afternoon. If you really want pizza, then make it at home with a thin whole-grain crust and eat that instead of takeout pizza.

Bagels8. Bagels – Again, bagels can raise your blood sugar level quickly and cause you to crash in the afternoon due to their white flour and sugar content. Also, most bagels that you buy are excessively big when it comes to portion size. If you really want bagels for lunch, then make ‘mini-bagels’ at home with whole grain flour.

Energy Bars9. Energy Bars – Most people associate energy bars with healthy. They are supposed to give us energy and supply us with nutrients; however, most of them are really just a candy bar in disguise. They are mostly made up of enriched white flour, high fructose corn syrup and sugar. (All things that spike up blood sugar too quickly which causes a crash soon after.) They can also be high in saturated fat. Moreover, despite their claim to be a meal in themselves, you will become hungry again within a few hours because the spike in energy (which is really what they are supposed to do) goes away quickly and you become hungry again. Instead of an energy bar, opt for a whole grain bar that offers plenty of fiber and no white sugar or flour.

Smoothie10. Smoothie – I had to include this one because smoothie bars are popping up all over the place as a healthier option for lunch, and it is hard to argue that they are obviously healthier than a piece of pizza or hamburger and fries. However, a smoothie is not going to supply you with the fiber needed to keep you full throughout the day, even though it does supply you with a good amount of calories. This can cause you to become hungry again quickly and eat more during the afternoon, which can increase your calorie total for the day and contribute to weight gain. Instead of a smoothie, eat a filling food at lunch and cut back on the calories.

In the end, the above 10 common lunch meals are really bad choices. Instead, eat whole grains, vegetables and fruits for lunch. You will find that by doing so you have much more energy and feel much better throughout your afternoon.

Original report by Dave Roberts here


Red Flags (Warning Signs) of High Blood Sugar

RED FLAG #1: Ready to Nap Right After a Big Meal? sleepy man
This is a normal response to an influx of carbs (think of that post-Thanksgiving dinner feeling). A diet that’s high in simple carbs like sugar, white flour, and sweet beverages — especially when consumed in large quantities at one sitting — overwhelms it. 
What helps: 
Fenugreek aids carbohydrate metabolism and helps regulate blood sugar levels after meals. Fenugreek contains a specialized type of fiber that slows the absorption of glucose in the intestines and reduces the amount of fat that is absorbed.

RED FLAG #2: Craving Carbs i love carbs
Find yourself reaching for quick-hit snacks like candy bars or chips? Simple carbs such as sugars and white flour break down very quickly, providing a fast hit of energy. Soon, however – this energy boost is followed by a dramatic drop in blood sugar. The body is caught in another wave of fatigue. So, before you know it, you’re reaching for a pick-me-up guzzle of soda, another handful of chips, a second cookie (or three).
What helps: Chromium may be the answer for those who have intense cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods. When your blood sugar is low, your appetite for sugars and starches is amplified. Chromium helps stabilize blood sugar and diminish the desire for carbohydrate-laden foods.

RED FLAG #3: Being Overweight — and Unable to Lose Extra Poundsoverweight
Most diabetics carry excess weight, says Duke University’s Beth Reardon. Stubborn weight loss despite best efforts can be the result of mixed messages that our cells are receiving, Reardon says. “The cells are starving because the fuel they need (in the form of glucose) is not being absorbed at the insulin receptor site on the cell. In the face of a perceived fuel shortage, the body will hold tightly onto existing stores of energy — fat,” she says.
What helps: Gymnema Sylvestre is a potent weapon against obesity due to its ability to regulate blood sugar, slowing the absorption of glucose and supporting insulin sensitivity. When blood sugar levels are kept in the normal range, hunger is kept at bay.

RED FLAG #4: Looking More Like an Apple Than a Peardiabetes 2
Weight gain is weight gain, and all of it risks moving you down the path toward elevated blood sugar. But added pounds in one particular area — the midsection — are especially associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. For men, the danger point is considered to be a waist circumference of 40 inches or more; for women, the dangerous measurement is a waist of 35 inches or more.
What helps: Cinnamon is an essential addition to your diet if you struggle with blood sugar imbalances or store weight around the stomach and midsection. Insulin is known as the “fat storage” hormone and Cinnamon allows the body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels while producing less insulin.

RED FLAG #5: High Blood PressureHPN sphygmo
High blood pressure is linked to many different conditions. But insulin resistance is a common cause when it appears in tandem with excess weight gain (especially around the middle), fatigue, and other negative numbers on a medical workup (abnormal cholesterol levels and high triglycerides). The numbers to beware: blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85, an HDL “good” cholesterol level below 40 mg/Dl for men and below 50 mg/Dl for women, and triglycerides of 150 mg/Dl.
What helps: Bilberry supports optimal blood pressure by making the blood vessels easier to stretch and expand, thus increasing blood flow. Also remember that high blood sugar makes the blood cells “stickier” causing the heart work harder to pump this thickened blood throughout the body.

Health Alert: Diabetes is fast reaching epidemic proportions. New statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that cases of type 2 diabetes in the U.S. have gone up 90% since 1997. This disease often goes undiagnosed for years. Make sure you get your blood sugar checked annually.


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Petition to STOP Cruelty to dogs in China: Pls. sign in the comments area

Reposted from here

dog cruelty 4dog cruelty 2dog cruelty 3


Through Mr. Obama (US President) and
Mr. Barroso (President of the European Commission),

We are all world citizens and were shocked to see how the Dogs are treated and killed in China, as you can see directly from the snapshots above and in this video below.

We do not need words, because we don’t have any word, to comment on the brutality and ferocity of what we saw, and we don’t have the courage and strength to review the video twice.

The DOG is always considered, by all civilizations, man’s best friend and it never hesitated to sacrifice its life for men.

For this and other many reasons, we want all together to make our voices heard because this senseless cruelty is stopped, the dogs’ dignity, as well as that of every living creature is respected, and it will be sent an official note by the European Commission and US Government to the Chinese Government because this brutal and uncivilized practice will be stopped immediately.


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Is coffee really good for your heart?

cup of coffeeResearch has found that coffee offers a long list of potential health benefits, including possibly reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver and even Alzheimer’s.

Why? The answer may lie in the army of antioxidants coffee contains.

“Many people do not realize that coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in their diet,” said Dr. Donald Hensrud, chair of preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

The Research

Numerous studies have shown that coffee is good for the heart. The Iowa Women’s Health Study, an ongoing study as of May 2011, followed 27,000 women from age 55 to 69. In that study, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that women who drink one to three cups of coffee a day reduce their risk of heart disease by 24 percent compared with those who abstain from drinking coffee.

In a study conducted at Spain’s Autonomous University of Madrid, researchers tracked 129,000 men and women over 20 years and found that study participants who consumed several cups of coffee a day were less likely to die of heart disease than those who drank none. Among women taking part in the study, those who drank four to five cups a day were 34 percent less likely to die of heart disease than those women who drank no coffee. Men who drank five cups were 44 percent less likely to die of heart disease than men who drank no coffee.

Of apparent wider significance, however, was an overarching decrease in the mortality rate of the coffee-drinking participants.

central coffee research instituteAccording to an article published by, the researchers noted that the same group of coffee-drinking women experienced 26 percent fewer deaths from any cause during the period of the study, and there were 35 percent fewer deaths from any cause among the same group of coffee-drinking men.

Reports of the study’s conclusions appeared during the summer of 2008. At that time, Esther Lopez-Garcia, an epidemiologist at Autonomous University and the leader of the study, cautioned against acting on the findings until additional research was conducted.

Researchers are still trying to determine exactly why coffee might be beneficial, but it appears that antioxidants may help block inflammation and limit cell damage, both of which are associated with cardiovascular disease, Hensrud said.

The antioxidants in coffee are known as polyphenols and they are also found in . A 2005 study found that Americans get far more antioxidants from coffee than from any other source.

How Much?

A magic number does not exist, doctors say, but the benefits of drinking coffee appear to taper off after six cups. That does not mean everyone should guzzle six cups a day, said Dr. John P. Higgins, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. In a recent study, Higgins found more than 200 milligrams of caffeine, the amount found in about two cups of coffee, can cause the heart rate to quicken and blood pressure to rise.

“There is nothing wrong with coffee in moderation,” Higgins said. “But excessive caffeine can have adverse effects even on young, healthy people.”

Caffeine can disrupt sleep because it blocks the release of adenosine, a chemical believed to induce sleepiness, said Dr. Richard Castriotta, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Houston’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Some are affected more than others, with the half-life of the effect of a cup of coffee averaging three to seven hours. Some people are affected for up to 14 hours.

“We see people who suffer insomnia get stuck in a vicious cycle,” said Castriotta, who is also a professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. “They need caffeine to function during the day, but it’s disrupting their sleep cycle at night.”

Castriotta recommends that patients who suffer from insomnia avoid all caffeine. Once the problem is resolved, slowly reintroduce caffeine, he advises, to determine if it caused the insomnia.

Teenagers form another group that could be more susceptible to the negative effects of caffeine, such as irritability or sleeplessness. “If kids are drinking coffee all the time rather than milk and water,” Hensrud said, “that could be a problem.”

Changing Science

If you have a hard time keeping up with the newest verdict on java, you are not alone. For years, coffee was linked to increased rates of pancreatic cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Why the sudden change? Doctors and researchers cite a few reasons.

“Medicine, especially nutrition science, is constantly changing as we learn more,” Hensrud said.

Coffee is particularly complex, he said, containing hundreds of different compounds, some of which — such as antioxidants — are beneficial. Some, however, are not. And different people metabolize the same substance differently. Also, Hensrud added, earlier research didn’t always take into account high-risk behaviors, such as drinking and smoking, which often go hand in hand with heavy coffee drinking.

Original article here

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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Food & Drink, Health & Medicine


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