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Posted by: Georgi 

How many of us realize how our dietary habits have slowly changed over the centuries and the way it has started to drastically affect our human health. Research on the subject, by advocators of the alkaline diet, indicates some startling revelations and many discussions have ensued on the subject. In the early years, all of us ate foods that naturally balanced the alkaline with the acidic. However, as newer innovations in the agricultural field were introduced, we automatically started to consume grains that were ground and processed in special machines and these were more acidic in nature. Salts, sugar and milk have also been discovered, which only adds to the issues that compound disastrous health problems.

Foods that are incorporated in the alkaline diet plan are tubers, citrus fruits, and various types of nuts, fresh vegetables and legumes. The chief element here is about keeping careful tabs on what you eat and not what you omit to eat. You will have to make conscious changes in your diet, if you wish to follow this diet plan by eliminating most of the starches, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol and sugar from your diet.

Improved results will definitely be noticed once you follow this diet for a certain period. Many people who have been on this alkaline diet plan insist they felt more energetic and reported clearer blemish-free skin, weight loss, fewer pains and aches. Our body has a wondrous mechanism in that it can prevent us from being affected by major ailments, such as cancer, if it is nourished with the right types of food.

Some of the symptoms that require immediate change in the diet are ulcers and gastritis. You will be prescribed foods that will reduce the acidic levels in your abdomen to prevent ulcerous holes from forming, or burning of the esophagus, with spill over of acid in the system. It is essential to include vinegar, citrus fruits and various ascorbic vitamins and folic acid that will help balance the acid levels and reduce the acid content in the urine. Calcium pills work effectively to reduce acidity when it initially enters the abdominal tract.

When you eat foods that are acidic, they are digested in the stomach remain acidic. Pancreas is the organ that works to neutralize acidity, by turning foods to alkaline substances, from the nutrients in the abdomen as they travel through the intestines. Urine is the best natural chemical cleanser that takes care of any changes that we make in our diets by flushing out unwanted substances. Our stomach requires a certain amount of alkaline substances to break down and digest foods therefore it is necessary to add non-acidic foods to our diet. When there is more alkaline in the system, the cancer producing white blood cells are discouraged from developing and are only accelerated, when there is excess acidity. This is the theory behind which the alkaline diet plan has evolved.

The alkaline diet plan that is also advertised as the cancer diet plan, works on the basis of handling certain chemical reactions that are introduced in the body, with the foods that we normally eat. The enzymes in the body control the chemical reactions that are brought about by the nutrients that we imbibe. The enzymes in our body also work to maintain our normal pH levels in the body, which in turn, ensures the proper working of the enzymes. This cycle takes care of the chemical reactions that occur with the foods such as fruits and fresh vegetables that we eat. It is possible to change the urine type by changing your dietary supplements and taking the right foods such as vegetables and plenty of fresh fruit as it will reduce the acidic content in the urine. Though doctors may fail to tell you, the excess proteins that you consume by way of meats, go into the bloodstream, causing it to become more acidic and do not get stored in the body. To combat this situation you need to take more calcium, which in turn, increases the risk of osteoporoses. This is because the chemical reactions are affected by the intake of calcium, which is taken from the bones to convert the acid that enters your blood to alkaline content.

The medical fraternity is not enamored with this alkaline diet plan. While they do not dismiss it altogether, they do not stop anyone from following this plan if there are no medical reasons for staying away from this diet. It is easy to follow an alkaline diet plan, as it does not involve purchase or preparation of any complicated foods or trying out any complicated recipe. The foods listed are easy to spot in any grocery store and the only difficult part of this plan is to forego foods that we have been enjoying all along.

Posted by: Georgi 

If diversity is the zest of life, then most definitely the main course of life is food. Food does a lot more in the life of an individual than simply providing sustenance. Food will excite all your senses, food will keep you fit and healthy, it is no wonder food is a religion for many people today. It might take you forever to master all the potential that the preparation and intake of food has to offer to human beings. While it is human nature to experiment, an alternative approach to the day-to-day food that we are used to that many people have feared experimenting on is a diet made up of only vegetarian foods… yes a vegetarian diet.

Essential Vitamins
One of the many widespread misconceptions when it comes to a vegetarian diet is that you must eat meat and its by-products in order to get all the vital vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Of course this is just a misconception in the sense that vitamins in food exist as organic substances, which are needed in small quantities in the diet. What this therefore means is that how you store, prepare, and process your food can have a significant impact on the vitamin composition.

Vitamins are classed into two – fat soluble and water soluble groups of vitamins. Vitamins B and C are made of water-soluble vitamins while their fat-soluble counterparts include vitamins K, A, D, and E. It is to be mentioned that water-soluble group of vitamins are more at risk of being lost in the process of preparing and cooking food, and by the same token, they are the hardest to retain in the body. You can get your share of essential vitamins from a vegetarian diet if you take a well-balanced diet.

Minerals
On the flip side of the coin, a healthy body is made up of various types of minerals, the major ones being calcium responsible for healthy bones and teeth, magnesium, chlorine, potassium, phosphorus, Sulphur and sodium. Alternative food choices of meat that are recommended for vegetarians include sesame seeds, almonds, rice milks, fortified soya milks, leafy green vegetables, hemp milk, and dried fruits are all very potent in minerals, more so calcium. In the case of iron, despite the fact that meat is known to be a very rich source of iron, you can still get it from a vegetarian diet made up of such things as molasses, leafy green vegetables, whole meal bread, dried fruits and pumpkin seeds to mention but a few. It might actually surprise you to know that according to studies, iron derived from plants is more superior to that derived from meat.

Dieticians and health experts today recommend an intake of foods rich in fiber and which are very low in fat. It is therefore correct to say that any balanced diet made up of a variety of foods can be able to meet all nutritional and dietary recommendations that will guarantee a healthy lifestyle.

If the latest studies are anything to go by, you are in for a rude shock because the studies suggest that the foods that characterize a vegetarian diet are significantly less likely to cause illnesses like high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases to mention but a few. Therefore, the health benefits that a vegetarian diet has makes it very attractive for all to eat, whether a vegan or otherwise.

Apart from a vegetarian diet being very healthy and nutritious, contrary to popular belief, eating and following a vegetarian diet is one of the easiest things to do. The best thing is that whether you are seeking to prepare your own vegetarian meal at home or buy at a restaurant, you can rest assured the food have been extensively made available. Ingredients like seeds, grains, and veggies are locally available and are very affordable.

What is more, a healthy and sumptuous vegetarian meal can be ready in less than 30 minutes, unlike the hours it will take you to prepare a complex fat-laden and calorie-laden meal. As if that is not enough, if you are in a hurry, pre-cooked vegetarian meals are also readily available, so you really have no excuse not to follow a vegetarian diet, unless you really don’t want to.

The other thing you should know about vegetarianism is that it is not slavery as many people have been led to believe. There is another widespread misconception that a vegetarian life is characterized by the consumption of leaves and weeds. This perception is derived from the fact that you are removing meat from your diet and leaving only the side dish made of vegetables. However, in most vegetarian diet recipes, the main ‘dish’ in this case is plants and not meat. Thousands of fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables do exist in the world today and even if you have all the time in the world and have the mind of a genius when it comes to creativity, it will be very hard to exhaust all the likely vegetarian meals from these ingredients.

Posted by: Georgi 

Today more than ever before, the society is faced by a very serious scourge that is almost wiping out an entire generation. Obesity is a medical problem that affects billions and billions of people today and this is largely attributed to the sedentary lifestyles that people are leading today. The other major contributing factor is the diet that has become part and parcel of the society today – foods laden with lots of unhealthy food choices.

As is therefore evidence, the answer to reducing the spread of this scourge could well lie in being active and having healthy eating habits. Sadly, not very many people are ready to effect these changes in their lives.

Any diet pill manufacturer will tell you today that by combining regular exercises with the right diet, coupled with their diet pill you will be able to successfully lose weight. Truth of the matter however is that if you took the time today to check on your diet and ensure it comprises of only healthy food choices, and if you became a little more active than you currently are, you wouldn’t even need the diet pills in the first place.

Age has very little to do with overweight or losing weight. However, overweight issues tend to crop up among adults since kids and young adults are very active, until they reach a certain age bracket (above 20 years of age), and they start to change.

With that being said, you might want to play a close attention to a vegetarian diet, which could be all you ever need to lose weight and keep it off completely. Simply put, a vegetarian diet for weight loss contains all the ‘bad’ food choices that could lead to obesity in significantly less amounts, and all the ‘good’ and recommended food choices in high amounts. A vegetarian diet for weight loss is rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and contains very low amounts of carbohydrates and calories. With such a combination, you can expect to lose weight in the healthiest possible way.

Still on point, reduce your intake of such things as potatoes, pasta, bread etc, basically foodstuffs rich in starch since the moment they get into your bloodstream, they will be converted into sugar. Naturally, the body finds it very hard to digest sugar, hence will store the starch as fat in fat cells to be used later on. The problem lies in the fact that because you will continue eating the same types of foods that are rich in starch, carbs, and calories, later on you will not need the stored fats and instead fats will continue to pile up in the fat cells, and before you know it, you will have too much of it to get rid of overnight.

Once you reduce or even get rid of excess starch from your daily diet, without a shadow of a doubt you will start to see the inches drop down significantly. Rather than go for that common snack you are used to and grab a handful of coke and chips, why don’t you go for a healthier option of broccoli. You can always dip your salad in your favorite dressing and all will be well. A healthy salad can be made of any type of vegetable ranging from broccoli to spinach to zucchini to radishes to olives and all else in between. These veggies will add not only color but also amazing and distinctive flavors to any type of meal.

There are those who compliment their vegetarian diet with some types of meat, which is perfectly OK if you take meat in moderation. There are those who feel they are not getting enough proteins from vegetables alone, and will always throw in turkey or chicken to complement their salads. You can also take some eggs and milk, although these are quite potent in fats and calories and can thwart your weight loss efforts. Be careful on what goes into your mouth and you will never go wrong.

It is to be mentioned that just because you get rid of meat out of your diet doesn’t mean you will lose weight. There are very many high-fat vegetarian types of foods available in the market today. Things like ‘healthy’ chips, nut, juice drinks, energy bars, and ice creams which can equally thwart your mission to stay healthy and lose weight. While an occasional treat of any of these is OK, too much of it is poisonous for sure as you are bound to gain pounds regardless of whether you are a vegetarian or not. However, a safe vegetarian weight loss diet plan will help you not only shed off all unwanted pounds; it will also help keep the pounds off permanently.

Couple that with some regular exercise and take the recommended 8 glasses of water every day and you are sure to remain as healthy as ever and more importantly, to keep obesity at bay.

Posted by: Georgi 

You could be a strict vegetarian because or religious, cultural, or ethical reasons. Perhaps you are a vegetarian because you want to stay healthy and keep diet-related health complications at bay. Regardless of your reasons to be a vegetarian, you definitely need to ensure you are on the right path, and this article seeks to enlighten you on the different types of vegetarian diets available today, so you can be able to make an informed decision and more importantly be able to ensure you are not negating your daily dietary needs.

Types of vegetarian diets
When a vegetarian diet is mentioned, the first thing that comes to people’s mind is a diet that has nothing to do with fish, poultry, and/or meat. As you will realize, a vegetarian diet can be classified into three major categories, hence yours could fall on any of the categories.

- The first type of a vegetarian diet is the one that excludes poultry, meat, eggs, fish, and all dairy products and any foods that has any of the mentioned food products. Basically, the diet is made up of vegetables.

- The second type of a vegetarian diet is the one that excludes poultry, fish, meat, eggs, and any foods containing these products. However, dairy products like cheese, milk, butter, and yogurt are permitted. This second category of vegetarian diet is known as a lacto-vegetarian diet.

- Third in line is the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, a diet that prohibits the use of fish, meat, and poultry but permits dairy products and eggs.

- Further down the line you will find a diet known as a semi-vegetarian type of diet, otherwise referred to as a flexitarian diet because of the simple reason that it is basically a plant-based diet although it allows dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, and poultry in small quantities and on occasions.

With that being said, you should know about a vegetarian diet pyramid, which is basically a food chart or pyramid if you like that will delineate food choices and different food groups, and goes further ahead to outline that if the foods are taken in the right amounts, they have the potential of forming the basis of an acceptable healthy vegetarian diet. As is with any other type of diet today, the key to a good vegetarian diet is to be able to enjoy all the food choices in it.

Be advised that there is no single type of food today that will give you all the nutrients that your body requires. As such, the more limiting a diet is, the more it will be challenging and hard for you to derive all the nutrients that your body requires. For instance, a vegan diet restricts food sources rich in vitamins B-12, and all milk products, products which are known to be potent sources of the much needed calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Thus, it is your responsibility to ensure you make the necessary arrangements that by the end of the day, regardless of the vegetarian diet that you take, your body will receive the following essential body nutrients.

- First in line is calcium which as mentioned is responsible for strong bones and teeth. You derive calcium from low-fat dairy products, dark green veggies like collard greens, turnip, broccoli, and kales. Your other alternative would be to take calcium-enriched products such as cereals, juices, soy yogurt, soy milk, and tofu to mention but a few.

- The second essential nutrient is iodine, a very important ingredient that helps regulate the body’s metabolism and is responsible for the growth and normal functioning of major body organs such as the thyroid, kidney, brain, and the heart. Be advised that most vegetarians don’t take enough iodine no wonder they are always vulnerable to iodine deficiency which could lead to goiter.

- Iron is equally a very important component of the human red blood cells. You derive iron from enriched cereals, dried peas and beans, lentils, whole-grain foodstuffs, dirt fruits, and dark leafy green veggies. Be advised though that iron is not always readily absorbed in the body from plant sources, hence you might want to double your intake of iron if you are a vegetarian. To be able to help your body in the absorption of iron, you might want to eat foods rich in vitamin C; tomatoes, vitamin C, strawberries, broccoli, cabbage, etc are all recommended.

- Other essential body nutrients your body needs include proteins, omega 3-fatty acids, vitamin B-12, vitamins D, and zinc, with sources of zinc being legumes, soy products, whole grains, wheat germ, nuts, cheese etc. The health of your bones is also determined by Vitamin D, which you derive from margarines, and some selected cereals. When you couple these with daily physical fitness activities such as walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling, you can rest assured you will be the healthiest vegetarian in the world.

Posted by: Georgi 

Many people have been led to believe that snacking is bad, but in reality, snacking is one of the best ways to refuel and replenish your body, regulate your energy and blood sugar levels and more importantly control your eating. To some extend though, snacking for the sake of snacking can do more harm than good, and that is why you need to be well informed when it comes to snacking and the healthy alternatives you have at your disposal.

Just like any other type of food, snacks too are categorized into healthy and unhealthy choices, so making an informed decision will go a very long way. By snacking on healthy snacks, you will be giving your body the much needed nutrients to curb binge eating and at the same time supply some important nutrients. If you look to lose weight, you should keep in mind that your body must be healthy so it can be able to lose weight. Here are some ideas of healthy guilt-free snacks you can enjoy any time of day or night.

- Yogurt especially plain yogurt is highly advisable because those with flavors are always rich in sugar. If you must have flavored yogurt, why don’t you use fruit to flavor it. A great choice is blueberries since they are significantly low in glycemic content hence will create a perfect balance between your insulin and blood glucose levels.

- Wrap your romaine lettuce with organic turkey and skim mozzarella cheese or Raw-Milk. Of all types of lettuce available today, Romaine lettuce is known to have the highest fiber and nutritional content. As for turkey, it is known to be 94% rich in protein hence will go a very long way in enhancing your metabolism and reducing your hunger, the perfect combination for losing weight.

- Opt for shrimp cocktail which is known to be 90% protein. If you want a low cal high protein snack, you might try putting in cocktail sauce.

- Nuts, a handful of them, especially walnuts are known to be very rich in fiber and protein and omega 3 fatty acids (known as healthy fats) which are known to reduce someone’s risk of getting diseases. Further, Omega-3 fatty acids are a great anti-inflammatory so they will help prevent the occurrence of inflammatory diseases like heart disease and stroke.

- Almond butter coupled with celery sticks are also a perfect protein rich combination boasting lots of energy and monounsaturated fats. The reason why Almond butter is advised is because unlike peanut butter, it contains no artificial preservatives or ingredients.

- Another great snack is deviled eggs, which are equally very rich in protein.

- Banana nut pop is also another healthy snack worth having. You see banana is very rich in potassium and fiber. However, they are very rich in sugar so they should be taken in moderation. For a different flavor of the same thing, why not try dipping your banana in plain unsweetened organic yogurt and then go ahead to roll in coconut or walnuts. You see, coconuts are known to contain anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial properties hence are among the best sources for Medium-chain triglyceride fatty acids (MCFA).

- The other great snack is the Lemon Tuna Avocado combo. Cut a medium sized avocado into two and then scoop all flesh in a clean bowl, mix with tuna and then squeeze in lemon juice. Avocado is very rich in monounsaturated fats and also potassium while tuna is a known potent source of omega-3 fatty acid and proteins, not to mention the fact that it is very dense nutritionally. Your intake of proteins will contribute to weight loss since you will be building muscles in the process which in turn will expend more calories.

- Have you ever thought that smoked salmon could be another healthy snack? However, you should avoid salmon that has already been stifled in brown sugar. As it is widely known, salmon is one of the richest sources of protein and good fats in the whole world.

With that being said, healthy snacks are great not only for you but also for the kids. You see it is more about how you present the snacks to your little ones and not really the kinds of foods on the menu. However, you should try to give your children the snacks they had once tried before in the past. For instance, if you had once tried broccoli but was not much appreciated, you might want to introduce another healthy snack and skip it this time round. Try and re-introduce the broccoli snack at a later date. You might want to capitalize on what they had taken and liked before and then start to build your recipes from there. It will only be a matter of time before they start to sample the best of everything that you have to offer them in terms of healthy snacks.

Posted by: Georgi 

By the time December comes knocking, the soft, sweet, tender fruits and veggies will be long gone and fine root veggies and winter greens are what greet many during the winter months and beyond. The only available home-grown organic fruits at that time are pears and apples. Mostly, people will always be too shaded by sweet potatoes and butternut squash to even notice the various fruits that hit the grocery store stands immediately the weather starts to revert back to normal. The following are some rare yet very delicious veggies and fruits that you can always try on your favorite healthy recipe.

Radishes – very rich in vitamin C and are quite crunchy in texture, radishes also have a somewhat sweet taste, making an ideal ingredient when used with some bit of sugar or salt. They make a perfect tender delicious side dish. Alternatively, you can stir-fry radishes with other vegetables to make a perfect soy sauce complement.

Cranberries – known to be very healthy and delicious, they are rich in vitamin C. They are also known to reduce the risk of some infections. Cranberries have also proven effective in improving HDL levels in the body (good cholesterol).

Blood oranges – quite rich in fiber and vitamin C, they are a great addition in winter desserts, salads, and drinks. They boast a very rich deep red hue, which makes them a very attractive addition in any holiday meal.

Cabbage – a mere cup of cabbage boasts 1005 of your daily-required intake of vitamin C, Vitamin K and fiber. As is with other cruciferous veggies, cabbage contains essential phytonutrients that help in detoxifying your body naturally

Kale – this is a very delicious vegetable of the winter that tends to get sweeter as frost hits the ground. It has this simple aroma that makes it a perfect addition to various flavors of meats. Nutritionally, kales are a superfood containing rich amounts of vitamins A, C, and K and some important calcium

Snow peas – this is a low-calorie type of veggie that is very rich in vitamins C n’ K. They are quite crunchy in their texture thus making them a very appetizing distinction to pasta. Be advised though that snow peas can only stay fresh for a only some days when stored in the refrigerator, hence you should ensure you cook them immediately after buying them.

Rhubarb – this is a type of stalk vegetable that flourishes under chilly weather and boasts a unique tart and fairly sour taste. As with all other quiche flavors, this vegetable is best made sweet using honey, sugar, or even fruit juice so as one can create a perfect symmetry of the acidity. Just like snow peas. Rhubarb is a low calorie vegetable rich in calcium, vitamins C n’ A.

Chestnuts – the chestnut tree is known to produce sweet fruits, although they are very seasonable as can only be found between the months of October through to December. Chestnuts are rich in Vitamin C. When used in various bread and vegetable recipes, chestnuts will introduce a faintly sweet and irresistible nutty flavor. It can be hard to find fresh chestnuts so you can try those which are bottled or check in specialty stores that sell groceries.

Artichokes – they are always available during early spring then disappear until early the winter period. While you will find convenient to get artichokes in cans, you will find fresh artichokes to be very delicious and naturally tasty. They are rich in folate, fiber, and vitamin C.

Persimmon – they boast a very distinctive texture which can be both firm and mushy. They are rich in vitamin C and fiber and introduce this distinctive tangy flavor when used in salads. You can also blend persimmon fruits into festive drinks or baked goods.

How to serve winter fruits and veggies
- Winter fruits and veggies will need some cooking.

- When preparing salads, ensure you add color and flavor so they can tempt you towards eating them during that cold time of the year. To make salads more enticing and attractive, you can add citrus parts, nuts, and chopped fruits. Alternatively, you can stew your fruits, and add some spices or something as simple as orange juice so that you can change the flavor a little bit

- If you are rushing against time, why don’t you pile up a bowl full of mixed fruit and then add some exotics such as fresh dates, kumquats, or lychees.

Regardless of how you choose to serve your winter fruits and veggies, just ensure you eat enough of them on a daily basis. During such a cold time of year when the bugs are just about, you will need to ensure your immunity is in its best shape, reason enough to ensure you take at least five parts of fruits and vegetables every day.

Posted by: Georgi 

Apparently, the coconut tree of life has more on offer than what many people expect of it. In addition to the common aesthetic, culinary, shelter, environmental, and livelihood benefits, if the current statistics are anything to go by, the coconut tree has many more countless benefits than many people care to think. Its new offshoot, the Virgin Coconut Oil, today happens to be the newest craze in the health and fitness industry, especially among weight watchers.

Even though the usefulness of the coconut tree has been recognized since time immemorial, and perhaps each and every part of a coconut tree has very many beneficial health applications, most people today find its newest potential incredibly and implausibly amazing, no wonder the tree has earned itself so much respect and worth than it has ever held.

As mentioned, the tree itself, its products, and its by-products all have limitless applications. The trunk is used to provide the much needed basic shelter to very many people in different parts of the world, and is also used to make foot bridges and beautiful furniture for home use. The leaves are used to produce amazing art work in the form of baskets, superior quality paper, home decorative items etc.

The leaves are also used as roofing thatches. As for the coir, it is known as one of the few materials that make the most beautiful mats in the world and the strongest of ropes. Coconut shells are a great unrivaled source of fuel. Simply put, a coconut tree is living up to its promise and name since no single part goes to any waste.

When it comes to the white ‘meat’ of a coconut, its applications are endless. For one, it is edible. Secondly, it is very scrumptious hence has found its way as a major ingredient in world leading desserts and meals. The oil extracted from the coconut oil, when dried, has equally several notable applications. This oil has been a great ingredient for different cosmetic soaps, aromatic mixtures, among many other beauty products. The oil is also used in the kitchen for cooking, which, unlike other commercially produced oils, it is all natural, safe, and very affordable. Finally the roots of a coconut oil have amazing medicinal properties which have been in use since time immemorial.

The latest derivative, the light-tasting aromatic Virgin Coconut oil, is extensively recognized for its amazing medicinal healing properties. It contains lauric acid, a chain of fatty acids that has proven effective in neutralizing the potency of disease causing bacteria and viruses’ responsible for herpes simplex, measles, e.coli, influenza, salmonella among other organisms that cause yeast and fungal infections. It has also been proven to effectively combat STD-causing bacteria, including some stubborn HIV strains.

The potency of the Virgin Coconut oil can only be compared to that of a mother’s milk as it is known to boost one’s immune system. Today, this oil is available in different amazing varieties and flavors which are sold in different parts of this world. In its manufacturing stage, this oil is extracted by cold-compressing freshly harvested coconut meat. It is then processed in its natural state in order to keep its natural antioxidant properties.

Posted by: Georgi 

Polenta is a cornmeal mush, generally used in Italian cooking to prepare different types of sauces and braised dishes. Polenta is a very versatile ingredient, which can be used to prepare different types of baked and fried dishes and can be sliced or served cold. The following dishes can be made with Polenta and serves up to six people:
1. Cheesy Polenta
Ingredients
a) Cornmeal – ½ cups
b) Meunster cheese -1 ½ cups
c) Water – 2 cups
d) 2 tbsp each of Butter and salt.

Method: Boil water and add salt and butter to it. Stir in the cornmeal and stir constantly with a wire whisk. Add the cheese. When the mixture begins to thicken, allow it to melt. Pour the contents into a pasta bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes. Serve with spaghetti sauce after slicing them into serving sizes.

2. Chicken with Polenta

Ingredients

a) Soy sauce – ¼ cup
b) Sake – ¼ cup
c) Garlic – 1 clove
d) Rice Vinegar – ¼ cup
e) Honey – 2 tbsp
f) Raisins or pitted prunes – 1 cup
g) Chicken breasts deboned – 4 nos.
h) Polenta – sufficient to serve 4 people.

Method: In a large casserole dish, add the soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, sake, prunes and honey. The chicken breasts are placed on top of this mixture and baked in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes until done. Simultaneously prepare the polenta. Spoon the polenta on to a serving dish and place the chicken on top. Pour the sauce with the prunes over this and serve with salad and a glass of Chardonnay.

3. Chicken with Tomato served with an Artichoke topping

Ingredients:
a) Chicken stock with fat removed – 6 cups
b) Polenta – sufficient for 4 to 6 people
c) Parmesan cheese – 4 tbsp (this cheese has fat in it)
Method: In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a rapid boil. Reduce heat and add polenta, stirring it constantly with a wooden spoon and simmer gently for about 3 minutes. Add a little water or Parmesan cheese to bring the mixture to a spreading thick consistency. Spread the prepared polenta onto a prepared baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes till the mixture is bubbling to a nice brown colour. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then serve. This dish can also be served cold.

Ingredients for Sauce:

a) Onions – 1 cup
b) Garlic – 2 cloves minced fine
c) Dried Basil – 1 tsp
d) Dried oregano -1 tsp
e) Chopped fresh parsley or parsley flakes – 5 tbsp
f) Marinated artichokes – 1 6 0z. Jar – drain out the marinade and quarter the artichokes.
g) Ripe tomatoes cut in half and de-seeded. (In winter, substitute with a large can of drained and chopped Italian style tomatoes.)

Method: Season tomatoes with salt and pepper in a pan and simmer without the lid on for about 45 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add the artichokes and simmer for another 15 minutes till thick. Heat the polenta in the oven, spoon the hot tomato-artichoke sauce over each portion. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese (this has fat content) and can be substituted by pouring clear chicken broth, which will make the dish contain only 145 calories per serving and is fat/cholesterol free. This dish serves about 10 to 12 people.

Posted by: Georgi 

Are there ‘bad’ foods that people should avoid under all costs? Those calorie-laden foods that people tend to eat during winter, and which will make one grow big especially during winter when working out is like a nightmare? Some good news comes from experts who are of the opinion that there are no real ‘bad foods’ in the world. What is there is that regulated bites of everything even the most fattening foods in the world can be incorporated into any diet. However, there are certainly foods that are bad than others. Here is an overview.

1. Macaroni and cheese is a beloved comfort food for many, both adults and kids alike. However, it can wreak much destruction in your diet and health if you aren’t careful. This is because a simple 12-ounce serving of your favorite Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese contains 529 calories and 25.7 grams of fat, 10.6 of which are saturated fats. If you toss in an ingredient like a high fat sausage or meat, rest assured the calories will climb very high and very fast.

2. Cheese and cream based casseroles, or casseroles topped with bacon, buttered crackers, and fried onions. We all love the traditional muddle brown casserole glutinous with cheese and potatoes. However, a single serving contains a whopping 568 calories and 40 grams of fat, 21 of which are saturated fats. Note that this is a side dish, not to mention the calories from the main dish.

3. Cream based chowders, soups, and bisques. The facts of these are staggering, to say the least. Note that soups are always very rich in sodium, meaning if you decide to crumble your favorite salty cracker into a bowl of soup or top it up with cheese, the levels of sodium will soar to unimaginable levels. A typical one-cup serving of your favorite Harry’s Lobster Bisque (Costco) contains 380 calories and 27 grams of fat, 16 of which are saturated fats, and then add 1,240mgs of sodium. On the other hand, the New England clam chowder at Chili’s contains 940 calories and 65 grams of fat, 34 of which are saturated fats.

4. Chili with stew made with sausage, ground beef, and/ or with cheese. Note that if you make chili and stew at home with tiny parts of lean meat, lots of veggies and beans and a small sprinkle of cheese, rest assured chili and stew will be the most nutritious and filling meal ever. However, when ordering out, be cautious. A typical bowl of chili with stew from Chili’s is loaded with 500 calories and 35 grams of fat, 15 of which are saturated fats. At Quizno’s, the same is loaded with 760 calories and 23 grams of fat, 7 of which are saturated fats.

5. Cheesecakes are mostly loaded with fats that will clog your arteries. A single slice of chocolate Oreo mudslide cheesecake made from the famous Cheesecake Factory, it will contain 1,050 calories and 71 grams of fat, 34 of which are saturated fats. Perhaps you are thinking you can order a muffin to satisfy your cream-cheese craving. A typical Starbuck’s pumpkin cream cheese muffin contains 490 calories and 24 grams of fat, 6 of which are saturated fats. If you must satisfy your craving, why not skip these calorie-laden desserts and go for a 150-calorie skinny cow ice cream cone.

6. Another winter favorite for many is a pie topped with ice or whipped cream. Most people are probably blinded by the healthy ingredients contained there, such as the antioxidant-laden fruits, heart-healthy nuts etc. However, if you complete reading the ingredient list, you will come across calorie-laden ingredients. If you take a slice of a simple coconut cream pie served at Denny’s, you will intake 701 calories and 32 grams of fat, 20 of which are saturated fats. On the other end is a simple Shoney’s apple pie a la mode which contains 1,203 calories and 53g of fat, 23.7 of which are saturated.

7. Cookies are also a favorite winter snack for many people. However, if you care to study the calories in a single CD-sized pack cookies which are commonly sold at restaurants and bakeries, you will be dumbfounded. Take for example the 4.5 ounce simple peanut butter cup cookie served at Dunkin’s Donuts, it contains 590 calories and 29 grams of fat, 13 of which are saturated fats.

8. The 2.5 ounce shortbread cookie served at Panera on the other hand contains 350 calories and 21 g of fat, 12 of which are saturated fats. If you must take it, the only sound advice is to split it into two.

9. Another favorite winter food is the creamy pot pie that has pastry at the tom and below. Note that the pastry on top and below gives you a double dose of high-fat coating, not to mention the calorie-laden filling.

Posted by: Georgi 

If you are feeling blue and realize that you have given in to bouts of irritation recently, you need to carefully examine the foods and drinks that you have been consuming lately and see how they have been affecting your moods. Experts in the field of Nutrition claim that the foods you eat may be responsible for the way you feel.
The top 6 Foods and Beverages for elevate the mood

1. Look for foods that abound in Vitamin B12 and Folate (Folic Acid)
Enjoy foods that contain the above ingredients. You can find this in a good Mexican Chill Beef dish, which contains lean beef and kidney beans. You can also find it in a grilled salmon served with broccoli or a skinless chicken breast salad topped with romaine lettuce.
It is possible to reduce the levels of depression by consuming foods that have higher folate content. Japanese men found this method highly affective, as proved by a recent study conducted in Japan.

While meats, fish, dairy and poultry contain Vitamin B12, you can get Folic acid by consuming lots of beans and green leafy vegetables.

The following list out dishes that contain a blend of the B-12 and folic acids:

- Burritos or enchiladas that are filled with black beans including chicken, pork or beef.

- A salmon or crab salad with a light spinach salad accompaniment.

- Low-fat cheese, combined with sautéed spinach and egg white or egg substitute, can be turned into a delicious omelet.

2. Top up on Vegetables and Fruits

We get essential nutrition along with photo chemicals containing antioxidants in fruits and vegetables. These help to improve the quality of one’s health.

Studies reveal that a person who consumes at least 2 servings of veggies and fruits in a day had 11% more chances of maintaining overall good health. It was found that they benefitted greatly eating these types of foods.

3. Foods Rich in Selenium

The mineral Selenium works as an antioxidant to remove depression and irritations. This state is brought on, especially in elderly people when the brain is stressed out due to the presence of oxides in the brain.

A study conducted revealed that elderly people, who included 200 grams of selenium in their diet, were not as depressed, as those who took a placebo. Several tests that are more conclusive need to be carried out to determine the benefits of selenium in the body.

The daily recommended dose for both men and women is 55 micrograms of selenium.

Selenium is also found in whole grains. You can get about 70 micrograms of selenium by eating different grains, such as brown rice, whole-grain bread and oatmeal.

Selenium is also found in:
- All legumes and beans

- All lean meats (pork, chicken, turkey or beef)

- Dairy foods low in fat

- Different seeds and nuts (mainly Brazil nuts)

- Fish, clams, sardines, oysters and crabs

4. Seafood should be consumed often

Eating different types of fish that are particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids prove to actually lift depression. This is found in fish, such as salmon, which are full of fat.
Mood swings, especially postpartum depression patients, can benefit if they consume omega-3 fatty acids according to Jay Whelan, PhD who is the head of the Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee.

5. Vitamin D should be consumed on a daily basis

Get a little sunshine every day, as the rays of the sun helps Vitamin D synthesize and regulate in the body.

Studies conducted recently revealed that there was a direct relation between mood disorders and low serum levels of Vitamin D in the body. This was apparent in the four disorders listed as PMS, nonspecific mood disorder, seasonal affective disorder and major depressive disorder.

However, we should get our daily fix of Vitamin D from the foods that we eat, such as fortified cereal, whole grain breads, milk and juices.

6. Eat 1 oz of Chocolate every day.

An interesting study, conducted in Netherlands, revealed that Dutch men actually lowered their blood pressure levels and had lower heart disease rates when they consumed 1/3 of a chocolate bar daily. They also reported feeling good overall.

1. Foods high in saturated fats should be reduced

The Coronary Health Improvement Project, revealed a study that was carried out on nearly 348 people between the ages of 24 and 81. Those who reduced their intake of saturated fat found a major decrease in their depressive states.

2. Intake of Alcohol should be monitored.

3. Limit caffeine sensibly

Caffeine can cause irritation in several ways.
- It is impossible to get a good night’s sleep if you consume caffeine late in the day. This results in an increase of irritability and exhaustion the next day.

- The initial burst of energy that one experiences when consuming caffeine often spirals into a feeling of tiredness.