Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Eating Tips

Okay, please remember, this is a JOKE! lol! But I just had to share!

I hate aspects of this time of year. Not for its crass commercialism
and forced frivolity, but because it's the season when the food
police come out with their wagging fingers and annual tips on how to
get through the holidays without gaining 10 pounds.

1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on
a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact
if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're
serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine
single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than
single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now.
So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's
not as if you're going to turn into an eggnogaholic or something.
It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later then
you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of
gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of
your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk
or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a
sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to
control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is
to eat other peoples food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Years, You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.
This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the
buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa. Position
yourself near them, and don't budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of
shoes. You can't leave them behind. You're not going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each.
Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin.
Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one
dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean have
some standards, mate.

10. And one final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the
party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.
Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless January is just around
the corner.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Alternative exercise?

A couple weeks ago, Jillian went to the local Martial Arts Academy for a Girl Scout meeting where they would learn self defense in order to earn a badge. She loved it! They got to learn all kind of neat moves and all the girls wanted to sign up for classes!

That really isn't a bad idea. Whether you're a young girl, or an adult, there's a lot you can learn about self-defense from Martial Arts. However, you need to be careful about which programs you get into. Are you looking for self defense? or just goofing around?

I found a site online that offers Close Combat Training that you can learn through DVD's in the privacy of your home. They state that you can find out the truth about Martial Arts from their site. Many people mistakenly believe that women cannot effectively defend themselves. That is a myth that Captain Chris' Close Combat program would gladly like to bust.

Captain Chris is the world leader in Self Defense. You can read his story of why he developed this system on his website at It's a very interesting story of how he thought he was extremely well trained, but after being attacked, he realized he wasn't trained as well as he thought and spent a lot of money to search for the "real" answer to martial arts and self defense.

Now it's available to the public. Check it out! It could save your life!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuscan Chicken Soup

Here's a great recipe from that I wanted to share.

A hearty, colorful stew like this one makes use of what's in your fridge and pantry to help you meet your daily quota for heart health: Harvard researchers found that people who consumed at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day were 28% less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than people eating fewer than 1.5 servings a day.

2 carrots, chopped (about 1 c)
1 rib celery, chopped (about 1/2 c)
2 Tbsp olive oil 1 med onion, chopped (about 1 c)
4 lg cloves garlic, minced (about 11/2 Tbsp)
1 lg bay leaf (or 2 sm)
8 c low-sodium chicken broth
3 c shredded roasted skinless chicken breast (1 lb)
3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 c grated zucchini (about 1 med)
1 can (15 oz) no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts in water, drained, rinsed, and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 Tbsp dried
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage or 1/2 Tbsp dried
1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1/2 Tbsp dried
12 thin slices Parmesan cheese, cut with vegetable peeler (optional)

Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 (12 cups total)

1. PLACE carrots and celery in small micro-waveable bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and cover top of bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 5 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender.

2. HEAT oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and saut? another 1 to 2 minutes. Add steamed vegetables and bay leaf. Sauté 4 to 5 minutes longer.

3. POUR in broth. Add chicken, tomatoes, zucchini, beans, and artichoke hearts. Simmer 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Add oregano, sage, and thyme and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Top each bowl with 2 slices of cheese, if desired.

Nutritional Info Per Serving

218 cal, 22 g pro, 19 g carb, 5 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 35 mg chol, 503 mg sodium

The garlic in this broth may improve blood flow by widening arteries

Monday, December 10, 2007

Health Insurance....

With all of Becca's different illnesses and various doctors, we get statements from our insurance constantly. We are extremely lucky that my husband has a wonderful health care plan with his company, because otherwise, I don't know what we'd do.

I talk with people daily who don't have any type of insurance whatsoever! They just hope and pray that they don't get sick! With as many tests and procedures that Becca has had, we never would have been able to make it without the health insurance coverage.

So what do people do if they don't have health insurance? Maybe they are self employed or their employer doesn't offer it? Then most likely, they have to look into a private company to purchase health insurance.

I found a company called Advantage Medical Quotes which offers traditional healthcare options as well as group, self-employed and HMO and PPO plans. You start by entering your state and some basic information and they'll give you information on a plan that will work for you.

You pretty much can't live without some type of healthcare coverage, so if you are in need, check out Advantage. They should be able to help you out and give you some peace of mind.