Want to Stay Young? Eat These!

Good morning World!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you romantics out there!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

OldPeopleCartoonStaying young.  It’s something most of us want to do, but as time goes by, things start to go haywire…an ache here or there, age spots, hair thinning or going grey, you can’t move as fast as you used to, you get annoyed at young people and you find yourself at the doctor’s office more than you want.  It can’t be helped…we all grow older.

Some say ‘you’re only as old as you feel!’ which is fine as long as you ‘feel’ about 21 even when you’re nearly 3 times that age.  But some aren’t so lucky and do feel their actual age.

So what or who do you blame?  Was it due to all those late nights when you were younger?  Too much booze or cigarettes or even drugs?  Is it mom and dad’s fault?

Actually, genes account for only about 25% of aging, so what you eat could possibly make a huge difference in how you’ll feel when you get ‘over the hill’ if you aren’t there already.  Here’s how to adjust your food intake and get smoother skin, a faster brain and some other youth boosters…

OliveOilOLIVE OIL

Youth Benefit: Less wrinkled skin

Australian researchers found that those who regularly ate olive oil along with fish and veggies had, on average, 20% fewer wrinkles than those who did not.  This may seem just a cosmetic benefit, but an American trial recently linked deeper wrinkles with increased risk of osteoporosis.

SPINACHspinach

Youth Benefit: Healthy eyes

An antioxidant that protects the retina against damage from years of exposure to sunlight is lutein.  The high lutein in spinach is specifically related to lowered risk of macular degeneration (MD).  To help protect eyes, the MD Society recommends eating two to four servings of lutein-rich leafy green veggies a week such as spinach and kale.  Pour olive oil over greens as lutein is fat-soluble and therefore better absorbed if eaten with a little fat.

ONIONS

Youth Benefit: Lower inflammation

Onions, especially the red ones, are useful in avoiding arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  Controlling inflammatory status may allow a better chance of successful aging.  Quercetin is the nutrient in onions that help with anti-inflammatory.  Other foods with quercetin are citrus fruits, apples and sage.

BRAZIL NUTSbrazil_nuts

Youth Benefit: All-around anti-aging

Brazil nuts get high marks for anti-aging on account of their very high content of selenium, a vital antioxidant mineral.  According to the UK government’s 2011 National Diet and Nutrition Survey, many of us do not get enough of this mineral, with women over 65 faring worst.  Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of mortality, poor immune function and cognitive decline.  Just 25g/¾oz (a handful) daily, will significantly boost your selenium level.

blueberriesBLUEBERRIES

Youth Benefit: A clear mind

Blueberries could play a role in healthy cognitive function.  Research found a 200g dose sustained people’s ability to perform tests of short-term memory and concentration.  The berries are rich in a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, which may help protect brain cells and arteries and keep blood flowing to the brain.  Cranberries and pomegranates contain similar levels of anthocyanin.

BROCCOLI

Youth Benefit: Cancer protection

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli contain glucosinolates, which form anti-cancer chemicals.  When researchers added juiced broccoli to precancerous cells, they found the survival rate of these cells was reduced by 95%.  Other studies have shown that these anti-cancer chemicals may also reduce levels of estrogen derivatives that stimulate breast tumors.  Other cruciferous veggies include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radishes and watercress.

RED WINE

Youth Benefit:  Heart health

Research shows moderate imbibers of any type of alcohol (one or two units a day) tend to live longer than both abstainers and heavy drinkers.  Alcohol can also increase the ration of ‘good’ (HDL) to ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol in blood vessel walls.  Stick to no more than 150ml/5fl oz of wine per day.  Other foods that provide these flavonoid benefits without the alcohol are 70% cocoa chocolate, red grapes and red apples.

Other foods for staying young include OILY FISH such as mackerel, salmon and sardines which contain the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids for healthy joints, STRAWBERRIES for healthy arteries and CARROTS for a strong immune system.

So avoid junk food, eat healthy and stay young!

  Terri  

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 29

Good day, dear readers!

Here’s another round of tips for this week!

Θ To prevent cupcakes rising in the middle, try turning the oven down slightly and adding less mix to the cases.  Use the standard recipe to make 15 instead of 12 cakes.  This will make icing them easier.

TT: Personally, I like the little dome on my cupcakes as I feel it gives them more height.  Who wants a short cupcake?

Θ Make a fruit smoothie to help sooth indigestion.  Use 4 slices of pineapple, 2 apples and a papaya.  Juice, mix and serve with crushed ice.

TT:  Seems like an awful lot to go through just to cure indigestion.  I’d rather be eating the proper foods to avoid it in the first place.

meatΘ Meat is usually the most expensive element of a meal.  Get together a ‘meat club’ with several friends, then approach your local butcher to negotiate a discount on bulk buying.

TT:  I guess this is OK if you have friends who want to do this, but everyone buys things differently, so to each their own on this idea.

Θ Roll whole chillies on the chopping board before cutting, to loosen the seeds and make them easier to remove.

TT:  Can’t say I’ve ever tried this, but sometimes I just leave the seeds in or just scrape them out once I slice it down lengthwise.

Θ Try sucking on a metal spoon while chopping onions to stop eyes watering.

crying-chefTT:  Sorry, but I don’t think any of these gimmicks work when it comes to preventing your eyes burning.  I don’t normally have a problem with this when I’m working with one or two onions as I can peel and cut them fairly quickly, however it can be a burning situation when there are more.  That’s where the food processor comes in handy!

Θ Duck egg shells form late so to avoid salmonella poisoning, a duck egg should be well cooked.

TT:  Good to know, although I’ve never eaten duck eggs…at least not yet.

Θ Make a series of small holes in the screw-top of a jam jar with a carving fork and you have a homemade shaker/sifter.

TT: Good way to recycle, although I think I would use an awl to put the holes in the cap.

So there’s your kitchen tips for this week.

What’s for dinner?

♥  Terri  ♥

South Beach Diet ~ Here we go Again!

Good day, dear readers!

weight-loss-cartoonWell as we all know, a new year usually signals the time to get back to proper eating and for me, it’s no different.  As many of you know, I’m an avid follower of the South Beach Diet (SBD) and am the first one to promote its wonderful, healthy way of eating, but over the past few months several months year an a half, I’ve completely slipped off the wagon as if it were covered in grease.

When I was following it back in 2010, I managed to lose 28lbs.  I felt great, I dropped 3 sizes, I had more energy, my clothes weren’t tight and it wasn’t a struggle to bend over and tie my sneakers!  I hit a plateau in my weight…something I’m sure all of us who have ever dieted before knows all too well about.  After a while I slowly started to eat things I shouldn’t have and the weight has slowly crept back on to me and I managed to gain back 20 lbs….sigh.

DietscaleMost of last year I kept telling myself that I needed to get back to proper eating (I never refer to it as going on a ‘diet’) and would always say I would start on Monday.  Obviously, that never happened as Monday would roll around and I’d be repeating the same mantra again.  Each time I stepped on the scale; maybe once a month or so, my weight would increase by a pound or more.  Sometimes it would actually stay the same and I would be quite thankful.

As the recent holidays approached, I started psyching myself up that I was going back to SBD after the new year and I have kept that promise to myself.  I didn’t start exactly on Jan 1, but on Jan 5 as I wanted to make sure I had all the proper foods in the house and also to get rid of all the junk such as all the crackers, cheese, canapes and especially the chocolate.

In the past two weeks, I’ve lost nearly 5lbs. and even though it’s a slow start, at least the numbers on the scale are going down and not up!

Many of us try to lose weight in the new year, and even though I’m sure you’ve heard most of the following before, it’s always good to get a refresher as it becomes engrained in our brains and hopefully stays there!  Breaking old eating habits can be tough, but here’s a few tips to help you on the way and hopefully keep your (and my) motivation high…

* Get rid of everything that will tempt you into unhealthy eating.  This includes cakes, cookies/biscuits, pies, chips/crisps, chocolates, candies, sweets and any other junk food you might have sitting around.

*Have some healthy snacks handy.  An apple with a small amount of sugar-free peanut butter or low-fat cheese, some wholegrain crackers with low-fat cheese, a few spoonfuls of fat-free Greek yogurt with some berries and artificial sweetener.  Celery sticks with a small amount of low fat cream cheese.  A small handful of nuts; almonds and walnuts are great choices.  You get the idea.

*Try to find a friend who also wants to lose weight and you can do it together.  Going along with a friend will help you achieve your goal as you are there to push each other along.

*Start an exercise program if you haven’t already.  You don’t need to spend hours (or money!) at the gym.  Put on a pair of walking shoes and head outside.  Start slow if you’re not used to doing a great deal of walking.  Even 10-15 minutes of walking is better than sitting down in front of the TV.  Get yourself a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day and work your way up to that.  A 10-minute walk is around 1,000 steps. Remember, the more you move, the more calories you burn.  You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of weight.

*Be realistic.  Keep your ultimate goal at the back of your mind, but focus on the small bites that will help you get there, such as a certain amount of weight to lose each week.

*Keep focused and motivated by reminding yourself why you want to lose weight.  Whether it’s for health reasons or to fit into your wedding gown or swim suit this Summer, it’s easier to do something when you’re clear about why you’re doing it.

sugar1*Lower your sugar intake.  Many foods have hidden sugar such as ketchup, peanut butter, canned soup, bread and salad dressings.  Try to avoid ‘light’ products such as mayonnaise as they compensate for the lower fat by adding more sugar. Too much sugar can play havoc with your blood glucose levels and increase your risk for diabetes. It may also cause obesity, and increase your risk for high cholesterol and heart disease. It has even been linked to cancer.

*Avoid white foods: potatoes, rice, pasta and bread.  A sweet potato is actually better than a white potato, swap white rice for brown or wild rice and go for whole wheat pasta and whole grain breads.  They all provide more fiber which is digested more slowly and doesn’t give you that sharp spike in glucose levels which leaves you feeling hungry.  You can also replace rice with grains such as whole wheat couscous, bulgar wheat, quinoa or barley.  Oats are a great way to start your day, but avoid the instant oats.

*Try to limit your eating of the starchy vegetables such as green peas, parsnips, beets, corn, pumpkin, turnips and carrots as these all contain a higher level of carbohydrates than other veggies.

*You should also limit yourself on the following fruit for the same reason as the starchy veggies: canned fruit, all fruit juice, raisins, pineapple and watermelon.

So there you go.  There are so many more ideas and thoughts that go along with all of this, but I figured this is enough for now.

Maybe it’s time to go build a snowman….

♥  Terri  ♥

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 15

Happy Tuesday All!

Here’s the next package of Terri’s Tips….

 

♣ To make a soothing drink for a sore throat or persistent cough, try adding a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of fresh grated ginger and the juice of half a lemon to a cup of water and sipping slowly.

I have tried this before and it really is nice and is also good for when you have a cold.  Personally, I’d probably add a splash of brandy or whiskey to it for an impromptu hot toddy!

♣ To stop vegetable or pasta water boiling over, rub veggie oil around the rim of the saucepan before bringing the water to the boil.

Can’t say I’ve ever heard this one before or tried it.  Wonder if it matters if you use olive oil…

♣ Add a scrunched up piece of tissue paper to a biscuit tin or cookie jar to help keep them fresh and crunchy.

Guess this is the opposite effect from putting in a piece of sliced apple to keep them soft.

♣ Fruit such as apples and pears are full of vitamin C, but this is mainly found in the peel.  Try to keep the peel on in any dessert recipe.

Hmmm…as we are catergorised as being ‘apples’ or ‘pears’, depending on our shape, I guess this means that we need to keep our clothes on when we eat desserts?

♣ For a low-fat alternative to sautéing, use a small amount of stock or wine rather butter or oil.

I do this, but I start off with a small bit of oil, just to get the nice browning effect on the veggies, especially onions, and add a little stock as they cook.

So there you have it, your kitchen tips for the week.

Next week:  Find out what’s the best day to go food shopping and a tip on tea.

♥  Terri  ♥

Food Gifts ~ Candied Clementines

I’m always looking for new and unusual things to make for the markets, particularly the Christmas Craft Fairs.  One of them I’m doing on the 8th is going to be situated at a hand-made shop; no, I don’t mean the shop is handmade, but that they sell handmade items!  So I thought it appropriate that I have some different homemade items other than my preserves and chutneys.

I found a recipe a few weeks ago for Candied Clementine Slices.  The picture with the recipe had them set into a pretty gift box so I decided this would be a nice item to have on offer at the fair.

It’s a fairly straight forward and easy recipe; it just takes a good bit of time: 2 hours simmering, 2 hours baking plus an hour for drying prior to dipping in chocolate.

***Candied Clementine Slices***

  • 600g (1½ lbs – about 9 fruit) clementines
  • 1 kg (2 lbs) granulated sugar
  • 500ml (17fl oz) cold water
  • 5-6 Tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 100g (3½ oz) dark chocolate

♣ Cut the clementines into thin slices (about 4-5 per fruit) and discard the ends.

Sliced Clementines

♣ Put the granulated sugar into a large pan with the water and heat gently, stirring until dissolved.  Bring to a boil and let bubble for 5 minutes.

Sugar syrup - pre-boil

Boiling sugar syrup

♣ Add the fruit slices, lower the heat and give it a little stir.  Simmer for 2 hours, carefully stirring occasionally, until the peel is translucent and tender.

Clementines in sugar syrup

♣ While the fruit is simmering, line two baking trays with nonstick baking paper and set aside.

♣ Preheat the oven to a low setting (gas ¼, 110°C, fan 90°C, 230°F).

♣ Using a fork, transfer the slices to the lined baking trays in a single layer.  Bake for 2 hours.

In the oven!

♣ Put the caster sugar into a bowl.  Leaving the oven on, remove only one tray from the oven at a time.  Dip each slice into it and place on a wire rack to dry for 1 hour.  You’ll need to work a bit quickly for this step because the slices will start to dry on the baking sheet and the sugar won’t stick.  If that happens, put the tray back into the oven while you work on the other tray.

♣ If not needed immediately, store the slices in an airtight container.  I put them in single layers separated by greaseproof paper.

Drying...

♣ Shortly before giving, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Dip the slices into the chocolate to cover half.

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♣ Place on a tray lined with nonstick baking paper, leave to set at room temperature, then gift wrap as desired.  I put about 9 slices (100g) into a disposable mini loaf pan lined with a doily, put each one into a decorative bag and folded down, taped and then put ribbon and a Christmas sticker.

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Have fun with these on the decorating and gift wrapping.  If giving these to a foodie, perhaps wrap them and put them into a cookie canister or a pretty serving bowl to give to the recipient.  Give with a bottle of Port or Whiskey.  How about with some tea leaves and tea cups?  The possibilities are endless…just use your imagination!

These make great little gifts for perhaps your neighbors, the babysitter, the mailman, the paperboy, your child’s teacher, your hairdresser or dentist or your favorite clerk at the bank.  Going to a party this holiday season?  Bring some of these to your hostess along with a small candle or bottle of their favorite wine.  Who would you give these to?

♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

FOODIE NEWS

“In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” — Julia Child, celebrity chef and cookbook author

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In Foodie News this week….

AVON is calling on everyone to support Breakthrough Breast Cancer this year with its Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Baking Set.  It consists of six silicone cupcake holders along with a pink ribbon shape cutter and a heart-shaped cutter.  The set is designed to encourage you to get baking to raise money for a cause that affects 48,000 women in the UK every year.  The set costs £5, with £1.25 going to Breakthrough Breast Cancer while the remainder goes to non-profit projects.  Those of you in the U.S. may want to check with your Avon rep to see if it is available there.

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The yellow raspberry went on sale this week in British grocery stores.  The new variety is said to probably be popular with cooks looking to create an extra colorful trifle or pavlova and it has been dubbed the ‘champagne raspberry’ due to its color.  It is also said to be sweeter than its more traditional red cousin.  The color comes from substances in the raspberries which are normally hidden by red pigment.  In this case, a natural genetic change led to the loss of the red; leaving the yellow color to come through.  The berries are being grown for Tesco and will initially be trialled in ten stores in the South East of England.  Hmm….I’ll have to look for them!

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Swap that cereal for a boiled egg.  Research has found that post-menopausal women who consume protein throughout the day have less muscle loss and less fat than those on a low protein diet.  Preserving muscles is crucial for preserving mobility in later life.

Terri’s Tasty Tip…

As I’m feeling lazy today, I don’t really have a tip for you, so instead….HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!  It’s pizza night here at Terri’s Kitchen and I’ll be having my favorite tipple to go with that later…a martini!

TO EAT, OR NOT TO EAT

 A friend got some vinegar in his ear…now he suffers from pickled hearing.

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In a previous post, I informed you, oh dear reader, of our seriousness when we buy garlic. Well our seriousness also extends to two other items…onions and ginger.  We use onions in just about everything…well, we use garlic too, in just about everything!

20kg is equal to 44lbs.
The banana is there for comparison

For us, the three major food groups are onions, garlic and ginger, especially when cooking Indian food. 🙂

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Did you know that some foods have uses other than giving you something to nosh on?  Here’s a few helpful ideas that you can use everyday…

APPLES:  Extend the shelf life of a cake by storing it with a half of an apple in its tin.  It will help the cake to maintain its moisture.

BANANAS: You can use a banana as a natural moisturizing face mask.  Mash a medium size banana with 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt and 2 Tbsp. honey.  Gently apply over your face and neck and let it set 10-20 minutes.  Rinse off with cool water.  Your skin will look and feel softer.

BEER:  Get a coffee or tea stain out of a rug by pouring a little beer right on top.  Rub the beer lightly into the material and the stain should disappear.  You may have to repeat the process a couple of times to remove the stain completely.  Feel free to consume any remaining beer!

BAKING SODA:  To clean food splashes from the inside of a microwave, put a solution of 2 Tbsp. baking soda in 1 cup water in a microwave-safe container and cook on High for 2-3 minutes.  Remove the container and wipe down the moist interior with a paper towel or sponge.

LEMONS:  You use your chopping board to onions, garlic, meat, poultry and fish…no wonder it smells!  To get rid of those nasty smells and help sterilize the board, after cleaning it, rub it all over with the cut side of a lemon.  Allow to sit for a few minutes and then dry it off with a clean paper towel.

MARSHMALLOWS:  Place marshmallows between your toes when applying nail polish.  Make sure your feet are completely dry though or they could get sticky!

OLIVE OIL:  Gently heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil (don’t boil it) and then liberally apply to hair.  Cover head with a plastic cap or bag and wrap it in a towel and let set for 30-45 minutes.  Shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

SALT:  Fresh spinach leaves are an ideal health food, but their curving surface makes it difficult to wash away all the dirt that collects in the crevices.  Wash spinach leaves in salted water; the dirt is driven out along with the salt in the rinse water.

YOGURT:  For a quick, temporary relief of minor sunburn, apply cold plain yogurt.  It adds much needed moisture and its coldness soothes at the same time.  Rinse with cool water.

Terri’s Tasty Tip…

If your fruit or veg has a brown spot or two on it, don’t throw it away.  Just cut off the bad parts and eat the rest.  Love food, hate waste.


HAPPY COOKING!


Time for a cup of tea….