Can’t Make It To The Gym.. Try These!

Here are some quick and easy tips to try at home when you don’t have time to make it to a gym or for an intense workout… It doesn’t take long.  Think about what else you would be doing during the time it would take to do these and feel great afterwards!

Do You Feel Addicted To Ice Cream?

Is it possible that ice cream and drugs can have the same addictive responses? New research says there’s a possibility…

With drugs, over time, addicts feel less and less pleasure, though they crave more and more. This effect has been linked to specific versions of cellular receptors for the brain chemical, dopamine. Researchers Kyle S. Burger and Eric Stice, of the Oregon Research Institute, fed kids real chocolate milkshakes while the kids’ brains were being scanned, and found this similar effect.

In a study published online last week by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Burger and Stice first surveyed the 151 adolescents, all of them of healthy weight, about their recent eating habits and how much they craved certain foods. Then they scanned them in an MRI machine while showing them a cartoon of a milkshake, to measure craving, followed by the real shake.  All the kids wanted the shake, but those who ate the most ice cream over the previous few weeks enjoyed it less. Burger believes that energy-dense foods with high sugar can bring out neural responses during consumption that are similar to those seen in drug addiction, but doesn’t believe a specific food can make this happen.

Thoughts? Comments? Do you feel you are you addicted to high sugary foods?


Diet Drug–Qnexa

An independent panel of medical experts voted Wednesday that Qnexa’s (a new diet drug) significant weight-loss benefit outweighed its potential risks. The approval moves the decision on Qnexa to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their final approval later this year. If approved, as it seems to be headed in that direction, Qnexa would be the first prescription diet drug to reach the market since 1999. It is a combination of the anticonvulsant topiramate and the appetite suppressant phentermine. Studies show the medications produced an average of about 10% loss of body weight in the first two years of use. However, last year, the FDA reclassified topiramate as a class D drug, meaning it carries risks to a fetus but may still be acceptable for use in pregnant women despite the risks. Clinical trials on Qnexa also showed an increased risk of birth defects — typically cleft lip — in women who became pregnant on the drug. The study also found that users have an increase in heart rate.

Officials have agreed that they will have a tightly controlled system for those prescribing Qnexa in order to prevent birth defects such as healthcare providing training, monthly pregnancy tests, and a patient and medication guide.

What are your thoughts or comments on this drug? Should it be approved to prevent obesity, do the benefits outweigh the risks?


A Dutch Scientist Has Created Meat From Stem Cells

A very interesting article I came across..

The world’s first hamburger made with a synthetic meat protein derived from bovine stem cells will be publicly consumed this October after being prepared by a celebrity chef. Dr. Post told the American Association for the Advancement of Science that a hamburger made from artificial beef protein was a milestone in the development of novel ways to meet the global demand for meat, which is expected to double by 2050.

A handful of researchers have been working for the past six years on the technical problem of extracting stem cells from bovine muscle, culturing them in the laboratory and turning them into strips of muscle fibers that can be minced together with synthetic fat cells into an edible product. The technical challenges have included giving the meat a pinkish color and the right texture for cooking and eating, as well as ensuring that it feels and tastes like real meat.

Although some animals still have to be slaughtered to provide the bovine stem cells, scientists estimate that a million times more meat could be made from the carcass of a single cow, compared with conventional cattle rearing. As well as reducing the number of beef cattle, it would save the land, water and oil currently need to raise cattle for the meat trade, Dr Post said.

Weighing of the Pros and Cons:


  • Billions of animals would be spared from suffering in factory farms and slaughterhouses
  • Would reduce the environmental impacts of livestock production, which the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates account for 18 per cent of greenhouse-gas emissions
  • Could reduce by 90 per cent the land- and water-use footprint of meat production, according to Oxford University research, freeing those resources for more efficient forms of food production
  • Would provide a more sustainable way to meet demand from China and India, whose growing appetite for meat is expected to double global meat consumption by 2040
  • Lab-grown meat could be healthier – free of hormones, antibiotics, bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, and engineered to contain a lower fat content
  • Would reduce the threat of swine and avian flu outbreaks associated with factory farming


  • Consumers may find the notion of lab-grown meat unnatural
  • It’s not cruelty-free – animals will still have to be slaughtered to provide the bovine stem cells
  • There could be unforeseen health consequences to eating lab-grown meat
  • Lab-grown meat is a step in the wrong direction for “slow-food” advocates, and others who believe the problems in our food system have their origins in the distance between food production and the consumer

What are your thoughts or comments??


Levels Of Arsenic In Organic Baby Food?

Arsenic has been discovered in brown rice syrup, an ingredient that is commonly used to sweeten cereals. This toxic element is a chemical linked to cancer, chronic diseases, as well as developmental effects according to a study done by Dartmouth University.

Organic brown rice syrup is often used as a substitute for high fructose corn syrup in prepared organic foods. One of the infant formulas tested contained twice the inorganic arsenic allowed in drinking water, according to Environmental Protection Agency standards. The researchers tested 17 infant formulas, 29 cereal bars and three types of energy shot drinks. Two infant formulas –- one dairy based and the other soy based – listed organic brown rice syrup as their primary ingredient. They both contained arsenic levels 20 times higher than the other formulas made without organic brown rice syrup.

While organic foods are generally seen as healthier, Dr. Mehmet Oz told TODAY Thursday that organic doesn’t necessarily mean safe. Even foods that are organic may absorb arsenic through a natural process, he said. Rice seems to take up arsenic from the soil and different varieties take up different amounts of arsenic, according to the article.

It’s true, many of us view anything organic as safe. But this is not always true. This is a scary thought, but in order to reduce your chances of something happening to you or someone close to you…be sure to read labels, do your research, and don’t always trust what people are selling you.

For more information Click Here.

‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’

I just read a very interesting article on how the children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle can be an excellent way to help children learn how to eat healthier and the consequences of eating unhealthily.

Here’s a recap of the story in case you have forgotten: From the moment the caterpillar pops out of his egg in the warm sun, he is propelled by his hunger to look for food. Between Monday and Friday, he eats his way through a great deal of fruit. But on Saturday, he is really hungry, and he eats through a piece of chocolate cake, an ice cream cone, a pickle, a slice of Swiss cheese, some salami, a lollipop, a piece of cherry pie, one sausage, a cupcake, and a slice of watermelon. Following his intake of food from Saturday, he ends up with a stomach ache which resulted the caterpillar to eat one nice green leaf on Sunday to make him feel much better.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has decided that parents can point out a few important messages about healthy eating through this book. Starting last March, more than 17,500 pediatrician’s offices received free copies of this book with CDC growth charts along with a reading guide to help parents use the story to help their young children understand the importance of eating healthier.

Children can view that the caterpillar is consuming very healthy fruits during the week, and can even suggest more for him to eat. I believe this is one very effective way to get younger children involved in healthier eating and realize the importance behind it as well.

Downsizing Candy Bars, But Will We Eat Less?

Mars candy bars will soon stop selling chocolate bars in portions larger than 250 calories, but will this stop the amount the public is consuming?

On Tuesday, February 14th, Mars Inc. made a promise to “fix” it’s chocolate products so no portion is more than 250 calories by the end of the year 2013. In other words, this means that chocolate bars will get smaller and some bars will be divided into 2 servings in one package to make it more known to the public that there is more than one serving of chocolate in one package. Studies have shown that eating from smaller packages increases awareness of portion size.

In my opinion, I believe that this a very good idea. I believe that we need to be more aware of the portion sizes we are eating. Chocolate is okay to eat in moderation, as long as we can limit our portion sizes. I think this will open people’s eyes up to what they are consuming while on the other hand, I’m sure people will still eat more than their supposed to be eating without looking at the nutrition facts or even the package.

What are your thoughts? Ideas? Comments? Will this make you consume less chocolate? Or will it make you buy double to equal what your used to eating?

Eating Disorders Linked To Genetics

Many mothers resist acknowledging a child’s eating disorder out of fear or guilt, or sometimes they’re struggling with their own food issues. Disordered eaters tend to be very successful in other areas, especially those who severely limit their food intake. Research shows disorders run in families; a relative with a person with an eating disorder is ten times more likely to have the illness than someone without a family history of disorders. A mother with an ill child may feel she is somehow to blame, too.  “For too many years parents have been blamed for their child’s eating disorders. Mothers are always wondering if they shouldn’t have said their hips were too big,” says Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association. Some studies suggest that as many as one in five anorexics die; treatment can take years and involves a family commitment. Kids can be very good about hiding signs, particularly from parents who are unsure of what to watch for.

Judy Avrin of Totowa, NJ, took her daughter Melissa to see a gastroenterologist when Melissa had digestive problems.  The doctor suspected an eating disorder, but Avrin, unaware of the warning signs, was sure he was wrong. Later, she found bits of food Melissa had chewed and spit out hidden in a drawer.  “I realized then we had a problem,” she says.  Melissa died at age 19 of complications of bulimia, binge eating followed by purging using vomiting, laxatives or excessive exercise. She has since devoted her life to spreading awareness, including making a documentary, Someday Melissa, about her daughter’s struggle.

If you suspect a child, family member, relative, close friend or someone you know has an eating disorder do not hesitate to get help. Discuss it with doctors, people you are close to and address the problem, do not wait. Getting help earlier than later is always better.


1,081-Calorie Bacon Milkshake.. Seriously??

Jack in the Box has just brought out a new product, the bacon milkshake. It’s not actually made with real bacon, however just real vanilla ice cream, bacon-flavored syrup, whipped topping and a cherry… interesting. Some people are actually loving this milkshake, where others think it is not appetizing at all. Bacon shakes are apparently not new because there are recipes all over the internet where some shakes use actual bacon! Fast food companies are using all different techniques to surprise us. For example, KFC’s Double Down (two fried chicken fillets, surrounding two slices of cheese, two slices of bacon, sauce and no bun) and Domino’s Pizza’s Mac-N-Cheese Breadbowl pasta, where everything sits inside a big bowl of dough!

One 16-ounce bacon shake weighs in at 773 calories, 28 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat and 75 grams of sugar. A 24-ounce size comes out to be 1,081 calories, 37 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of trans fat and 108 grams of sugar. This simply amazes me. What do you think about this? Is it worth it to you to spend all of these calories, fats and sugars on one bacon milkshake? Is this appetizing to you?

Think this product is a bit strange, here are some other food products bacon flavored:

  • Novelty candy retailer Archie McPhee produces some of the wackiest bacon products around. Bacon-flavored gumballs, mints, and jelly beans top our list. After you’re done munching on all of the bacon candy, be sure to clean your teeth using the bacon dental floss!
  • Vosges  the gourmet chocolatier managed to incorporate applewood bacon into chocolate bars ranging from milk to 62% dark.
  • Bacon cupcakes
  • Bacon Mayonnaise (Baconnaise)
  • Das Foods developed a maple bacon lollipop.
  • Bacon ice cream
  • The Kernel Encore Gourmet Popcorn company made its special corn kernels coated with cheddar cheese and seasoned with smoky bacon powder. Thanks to the folks at Kernel, now you can satisfy your bacon craving at the movies.

Eating Well Recipes

Looking for ways to eat healthier? Click here for some awesome  healthy recipes!

Some sample recipes:

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Creamy Chive Sauce

4 servings, 35 minutes


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (about 1 pound), trimmed of fat
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives, (about 1 bunch)


  1. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch. Season both sides of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow glass baking dish and dredge the chicken in it. Discard the excess flour.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour; stir to coat. Add wine, broth and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil, stirring often.
  4. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until heated through and no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes. Stir in sour cream and mustard until smooth; turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Stir in chives and serve immediately.


Per serving: 244 calories; 9 g fat ( 3 g sat , 3 g mono ); 72 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 0 g fiber; 679 mg sodium; 334 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Niacin (50% daily value), Selenium (31% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 4 very lean meat ,1 fat

South Western Three-Bean & Barley Soup

6 servings, about 1 1/3 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 1/4 hours


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 9 cups water
  • 4 cups (32-ounce carton) reduced-sodium chicken broth, “no-chicken” broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/3 cup dried black beans
  • 1/3 cup dried great northern beans
  • 1/3 cup dried kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hours (adding more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if necessary or desired). Season with salt.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Slow-Cooker Variation: Use 2 cups water (instead of 9 cups) and combine all ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.


Per serving: 205 calories; 3 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 35 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 10 g fiber; 705 mg sodium; 601 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (49% daily value), Magnesium & Potassium (17% dv), Iron (16% dv).

Swirled Cheesecake Brownies

24 bars

Total time: 2 hours including cooling time


Cheesecake topping

  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchatel)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brownie layer

  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites, or 4 teaspoons dried egg whites (see Ingredient note), reconstituted according to package directions
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup strong (or prepared instant) coffee, or black tea
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch brownie pan or baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare topping: Place cream cheese in a small mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add egg, flour, yogurt and vanilla; beat until well blended.
  3. To prepare brownie layer: Whisk whole-wheat flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Place egg, egg whites and brown sugar in a large bowl and beat with the electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add oil, coffee (or tea) and vanilla; beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until well blended, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
  4. Scrape about half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Slowly pour the topping evenly on top. Drop the remaining brownie batter in large dollops over the topping. Draw the tip of a sharp knife or skewer through the two batters to create a swirled effect.
  5. Bake the brownies until the top is just firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Coat a knife with cooking spray and cut into 24 bars.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: The brownies will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (Alternatively, bake brownies in an 8 1/2-by-12 1/2 -inch foil pan, wrap well and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.) Bring to room temperature and cut into bars shortly before serving.
  • Ingredient Note: Dried egg whites are convenient in recipes like this one because you don’t have to figure out what to do with 4 egg yolks. Look for powdered brands like Just Whites in the baking aisle or natural-foods section or fresh pasteurized whites in the dairy case of most supermarkets.


Per bar: 105 calories; 4 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 21 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 54 mg sodium; 45 mg potassium.