Category Archives: health

Five Foods to Include in Your Diet

If you’re like me, and most other people in the U.S., you’ve resolved to eat better in 2010. Who doesn’t want to be healthier? And there is no time like the present, right? Especially after eating so many goodies over the holidays.

CNN Health suggests five foods for us to work into our diets so we can be healthier in 2010.

Whole Grains
If, like me, the thought of wheat bread makes you think of cardboard, remember that you have options. You can get whole grain goodness in rye, barley and oats. Try a snack of rye crackers with low-fat cheese. Or put some barley in your soup. Oatmeal makes a warm and comforting breakfast. You’ll reduce your risk of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and your waist line will look slimmer.

Every vegetarian’s favorite word. But have no fear. Soy is not boring. Soy is so versatile. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and low in fat. Try soy burgers, soy cheese, or soy milk. Toss some edamame pods in some sea salt and eat the beans. Use silken tofu as a thickener in soups (instead of milk or cream). The possibilities are endless.

Salmon and Other Oily Fish
High in vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and the most delicious food on this list, salmon and other oily fishes can help prevent heart disease. If salmon is not to your liking, try fresh tuna or trout, two of my favorites. Mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies also fit this category.

Red Wine
Thank the maker. Red wine is good for us. And it is 10 times better for us than white wine. Taken in moderation red wine can reduce the risk of blood clots, inflammation, and therefore, heart disease. But too much alcohol can negatively outweigh the benefits. So, drink wisely.

Green Tea
Antioxidants fight cancer, increase metabolism, and help reduce belly fat. And green tea is full of them. But it needs to be brewed, not taken in the form of iced tea. And the catch is that you have to drink a lot of it for the full effect. Whatever. It tastes delicious and is a soothing treat.

Read the full article at

Hangover Blues?

I repost this every year, because I usually need it myself.
I thought you might, too.

Hangover Cures

Do We Really Need Drugs for Our Eyelashes?

brooke-shieldsHave you seen the commercials with Brooke Shields applying Latisse to her eyelids so she can grow fuller, longer lashes?

Wasn’t she a supermodel? Does she really need help in the beauty department? Has she read the side effects?

Latisse, according to the fine print in the commercial, can cause your eyelids to darken or turn yellow. And that’s not all. It can also cause unwanted hair to grow on other places on your eyelid. Yuk!

Save your money and your eyelids. Try mascara. It’s been working for women for decades.

For help choosing the mascara that is right for you, read Grace Magazine’s 10-part series called Mascara Wars.

We can’t legally buy pot in the U.S., but you can get any kind of prescription drug you want. Side effects are your free gift with purchase.

Too Much Cardio?

health club: girl in a gym doing weight lifting.

We all know cardio is essential to our fitness routines. But doing too much cardio can leave your workout routine in a rut.

Cardio workouts in moderation are great for your heart and lungs and burning up excess calories. But if you really want to bust up the fat in your body, you need to add strength training to your routine. Building up muscle strength is key to burning off fat.

Balance your workouts with no more than 30 minutes of cardio and add strength training at least three times a week. Don’t forget stretching and flexibility exercises. You will see greater results.

To revamp your fitness routine, read this article from Shine.

Best Cocktails

Red Wine

With summer fast approaching, we’re all trying to keep slender figures. But once in a while, you gotta get your party on. Here are some summer drinks that, when taken in moderation, won’t pack on the pounds as quickly as others.

Full of antioxidants, it’s no surprise that red wine tops the list. Microbrews come in second because they contain protein, electrolytes, vitamins and phytonutrients. But don’t confuse them with regular mass-marketed American beers, which are as bad as eating junk food from the 7-Eleven. Guinness, my personal favorite is also good. It’s low in calories and high in iron.

Who knew all those pints I downed in my youth were actually good for me? When I lived in New York City, I once ingested nothing but Guinness for an entire week, and did just fine, thank you.

Stay away from sugary drinks like grog, Long Island Iced Tea, Red Bull and vodka and PiƱa coladas.

Learn more at


Low-Fat Holiday Dips


Why start the new year packing on the pounds? Try these delicious low-fat dips at your New Year’s bash.

Green Goddess Dressing and Dip

2 cups fresh basil or cilantro leaves
2 cups fresh parsley leaves
1 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Enjoy with fresh cut veggies such as carrot sticks or cucumber slices or use as a salad dressing.

Spinach-Parmesan Dip

1/2 pound raw spinach, cooked and drained
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
5 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender to desired consistency. This also makes a great sauce for grilled chicken or pasta.

Recipes from

Live a Long Life

There is an interesting article on that lists the
Surprising Signs You’ll Live Longer Than You Think.

The Signs:

  • Your Mom Had You Young (with her younger healthier eggs)
  • You’re a Tea Lover (fresh-brewed green or black)
  • You’d Rather Walk (walking is beneficial even if you’re overweight)
  • You Skip Soda (even diet soda is bad for you)
  • You Have Strong Legs (they hold you up better in your old age)
  • You Eat Purple Food (like blueberries and red wine, yum)
  • You Were a Healthy-Weight Teen (less risk of diabetes)
  • You Don’t Like Burgers (lay off the red meat)
  • You’ve Been a College Freshman (smart people don’t smoke)
  • You Really Like Your Friends (helps reduce stress)
  • Your Friends Are Healthy (chances are you have similar health goals)
  • You Don’t Have a Housekeeper (cleaning is exercise)
  • You’re a Flourisher (keep a positive attitude)

Read the article on for more details.

Be Prepared

First Aid Kit

I attended a seminar today about Emergency Preparedness by the Red Cross. It’s a subject I’ve never really given any thought. I realized that I don’t even know where my flashlight is, and if I could find it, I’m sure the batteries are dead.

Here are some tips I learned today:

  • bottled water in plastic only keeps for a couple of months.
  • candles are not the preferred light source during an emergency because of the fire hazard, but also because gas mains could be broken.
  • statisics say that everyone will choke at least once before the age of 50.
  • as we learned from Katrina, emergency help could take a full week to arrive.

With these things in mind, you should have an emergency kit that can last 7 days.

Some things your kit should include:

  • one gallon of water per person per day (for drinking, hygiene, cooking)
  • first aid kit
  • flashlight with extra batteries or one that recharges through motion
  • non-perishable food that requires no refrigeration or preparation
  • non-electric can opener
  • can of sterno to heat food
  • medications (prescription and non-prescription)
  • personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, contact lens supplies, feminine supplies)
  • plastic garbage bags with ties (for personal sanitation)

Other ways to be prepared:

  • take a first aid course
  • learn CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver
  • plan an emergency escape route like a fire drill
  • keep a smaller emergency kit in your car
  • backup personal records to another location (insurance, mortgage, banking, identification, medical records, emergency contact info) It could be a while before you can prove you are you.

Some helpful Web sites:

Stuffed Peppers

Green Peppers

In my search for vegetarian meals, I’ve adjusted a recipe that my mother used to make: stuffed peppers. She would fill green peppers with a mix of rice and ground beef. I substituted the beef for cannelloni beans and I used brown rice instead of white. The meal came out really well, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Stuffed Peppers

4 large green peppers
1 can of cannellini beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs

Clean out center of green peppers and rinse. Par-boil until softened but still firm. Alternate adding layers of cooked brown rice and cannellini beans. Top with bread crumbs to seal. Spray a pyrex dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place the four peppers standing up. Cook uncovered in 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tops start to turn brown. Serve with marinara sauce. Serves 2.

-Select peppers that have an even bottom so they will stand up in the pan.
-I heat leftover spaghetti sauce to pour over the peppers after I remove them from the oven.

Going Veggie


Several years ago while living in New York City, I adopted a vegetarian lifestyle. I had a friend who explained the ins and outs of vegetarianism to me and helped me learn a new way of eating and thinking about food.

But when I moved to Los Angeles I found it difficult to keep it up. I thought L.A. would be the land of thin, beautiful, active, healthy people. But in actuality, it is the land of fast food and chain restaurants.

I fell off the wagon…hard.

But now I’ve decided to give it another shot. I enjoyed being a vegetarian and its health benefits. The hard part is figuring out new things to cook. All of my veggie cookbooks are packed away in storage at my mother’s house. When I’m at work, lunch is easy because I have a vegan salad bar in my office complex and several of the local restaurants have strong vegetarian options.

It is important when trying a vegetarian diet to actually eat vegetables. It is very easy to substitute pastas and cheeses for meat. But that will make you gain weight fast. Being meatless is not the same thing as being a vegetarian. Potato chips and french fries may not be an animal product but they are not the healthiest choices.

So, my question to you, dear readers, is can you recommend any good vegetarian cookbooks? I have one of the Moosewood Collective books but I need some more inspiration.