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  

Chocolate ~ Morning, Noon and Night

I’m sitting here in my crop jeans and they feel a bit tight.  Not a good thing considering they fit just fine last year…sigh.

What is wrong with me??

I was doing so well with my eating, and I’ve completely gone to pot; well maybe not completely but probably 80% to pot.  I’m eating proper meals, but it’s the in between stuff that is causing havoc…and all the baking I’ve been doing.  Most of the baking has been stuff for the market, but if I don’t sell all of it, I bring it back home and well, I can’t let it go to waste, so instead I’m letting it go to MY waist!  This is not only bad for my weight, but also my health and I know this all too well.

On Sunday, my neighbors across the street brought me a container of freshly picked strawberries.  So what’s wrong with those?  Nice fresh fruit, healthy and great tasting all by themselves.  But did I just eat them as is?  No.  I felt I had to elevate them to a higher level and make something with them.  And what did I make?  Yesterday, I made this….

Chef P took a piece to work to have with his morning coffee, I cut off a chunk to give to the neighbors, and of course, I had to test it out to make sure it was OK to eat.  Obviously, it is perfectly fine…and quite delicious.  I made the sponge cake, soaked the berries for about 3-4 hours in some sugar and a small bit of brandy, and whipped up some double cream with a small amount of sugar and a bit of pink food coloring.  I spread the first layer of cake with the soaked berries and then covered with a bit of the whipped cream, then put the next layer of sponge and the remaining soaked berries then frosted/iced and added more berries for decor.  I’m not posting the recipe because this is dead easy to do and all you need to do is make your favorite sponge cake and with the rest, you can just wing it.

So you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with the title of this post.  Well, actually nothing, but maybe a small something.

Some of you may remember a while back (Nov or Dec) that I posted about a delivery I received from the Chocolate Tasting Club.  A lovely box of fine chocolates which I would receive every 4, 8 or 12 weeks, depending on my choice…and each delivery would contain different chocolates, hence the name.  I must say the chocolates I’ve received so far have been heavenly.  I only eat one or two at a time, and usually only once a day, sometimes skipping days here and there.  They not only have these scheduled deliveries, but they also offer other delectable delights.  I don’t normally order the extra stuff because frankly, a huge box of chocolates every 8 weeks is enough.  However, I ordered this because there wasn’t much chocolate that came with it.  What I got was this…

I’ve got an apron, three packs of different chocolate slabs and this book, from Hotel Chocolat called Morning to Midnight ~ A book of chocolate recipes for the whole day and night.

It’s a rather large book and gives you chocolate recipes that could, in the words of Professor Snapes, bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses.  I was drooling just looking at the pictures.  I’ll give you just a small sampling of what’s in there…

Yes, there’s even recipes for main meals!

What a great idea, these are adorable!

All of the recipes are contributed by chefs know in the UK, whether they be celebrity chefs, or well know restaurant chefs.

The book also gives an introduction into the history of chocolate, various terms used and also the various methods used on chocolate including tempering and proper melting guides.

I’m not sure what recipe I’m going to tackle first, but you’ll find out soon enough!

No wonder my jeans are tight…….

Terri  ♥

Wash Behind your Ears!

We all know that vegetables grow in dirt (well at least most of us know that).  Some grow under the ground, such as carrots, parsnips, onions, potatoes, turnips, celeriac or beets among others.  These are known as root vegetables because they are…the root of the plant that is growing above the ground.

There are also the leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, cabbage and lettuce which grow above ground and then there are all the other veggies that grow on the plant itself such as eggplant/aubergine, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and zucchini/courgette.

Regardless of where they grow, during the process of growing, there will be physical contaminants that come into contact with the plant that we really don’t want to eat:  dirt, bugs and pesticides being the big three.

Once your fruits and vegetables were ready for harvest, they were handled by several different pairs of hands in the fields and orchards, then in the warehouses, and finally again in your grocery store. Bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella and E. Coli may all be lurking on your fruits and vegetables, whether they are organically grown or conventionally grown. These bacteria all cause food-borne illness and need to be washed away from your produce.

Many vegetables are somewhat pre-washed before they get packed up and shipped to the grocery store, but if you’re buying from a farmer’s market, the veggies most likely will not have gone through the process of pre-washing.

  • Start by keeping your kitchen countertops, refrigerator, cookware and cutlery clean.
  • Always wash your hands before preparing meals and handling fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep fresh greens, fruits and vegetables away from uncooked meats to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Choose healthy looking, ripe fruits and vegetables when you shop. Avoid bruised, moldy and mushy produce.
  • Wait until just before you eat or prepare your fruits and vegetables to wash them. Fruits and vegetables have natural coatings that keep moisture inside, and washing them will make them spoil sooner.
  • Wash all pre-packaged fruits and vegetables, even if the label claims they are pre-washed.
  • Wash all parts of your fruits and vegetables, even if you don’t plan on eating them. Bacteria can live on the rind of an orange or the skin of a cucumber, for example. Though you may peel them away and toss them in the trash, the bacteria can be transferred from the outside of the fruit or vegetable to the knife you use to cut them, and then onto the parts you will be eating.
  • Gently rub fruits and vegetables under running water. Don’t use any soaps, detergents, bleaches or other toxic cleaning chemicals. These chemicals will leave a residue of their own on your produce.
  • Commercial sprays and washes sold for cleaning vegetables really aren’t any better than cleaning thoroughly with plain water, so don’t waste your money on them.
  • Firmer fruits and vegetables, such as apples and potatoes, can be scrubbed with a vegetable brush while rinsing with clean water to remove dirt and residues.
  • Remove and discard the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage heads, and thoroughly rinse the rest of the leaves.
  • Rinse berries and other small fruits thoroughly and allow them to drain in a colander.

Many nutrients and minerals in root vegetables are close to the surface, and therefore can be lost through peeling the skin. However, the skin of root vegetables can also act as a sponge, absorbing pesticides and chemicals used in the growing process. If your veggies are grown organically, simply wash with warm water, scrubbing with a brush if necessary, and refrain from peeling. If you’re not sure you’ll like the taste or texture, experiment with leaving the peels on, or try peeling only half of the vegetable. Exceptions include celeriac, whose knobby, thick and dirty skin will need to be peeled. If your veggies are conventionally grown and/or have been given a waxy coating by the produce company (usually turnips and rutabagas), then remove peels.

Wash your greens by placing them in a large bowl, pot, bucket or sink filled with water, and swish them around, allowing the dirt and sand to sink to the bottom. You may have to repeat this process.

(I made fresh spinach last night and cleaned it in my sink.  You can just about see all the dirt that came off in the sink)

Remember that the fruits and vegetables you buy may look clean when you pick them out at the grocery store, but you can’t see bacteria or chemicals. They still need to be washed before you eat them or serve them to guests or family members. This is especially important for produce and greens that are eaten raw.

♥ Terri  ♥♥

Bits and Bobs and Nuts and Bolts

Happy Wednesday All!

It’s a gorgeous day here in the SE of England as the sun is shining brightly!  We finally ‘Sprung Ahead’ this weekend with the clocks and now it’s still somewhat light at 8:00…woo hoo!

We took Buddy to the vet on Friday for his booster shot.  He wasn’t too happy about being there again, but he did OK, although the vet had a bit of a problem with trying to check his ears; he wanted no part of that!  We think he had a bit of a reaction to this shot because the next morning he was rather listless and subdued.  He was much better by Sunday morning.

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The weather was absolutely lovely on Saturday so we were expecting the same on Sunday for the first market of the season…WRONG!  It was cloudy, foggy, misty and cold and a bit breezy.  It was as if it was saying to me, ‘Terri, this is what you get for not being here at the market all year like the rest of the vendors so you will be punished’.  All in all, there was a good crowd out and about and even a few of my regular customers came by who were all glad to see me back at the market.

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My mum-in-law’s birthday was on Monday and the woman that cleans for her, brought her a lovely cake last Friday that she had made.  It was a vanilla sponge with strawberries and cream and she had it nicely decorated.  Kind of reminded me of a strawberry shortcake.  Well mum insisted asked us to take a bit of it home as she knew she wouldn’t be able to eat the whole thing all by herself.  So of course I had to take some, after all I didn’t want to disappoint the woman!  Now, I know it’s something I shouldn’t eat, but I did.  AND IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!!  I did just eat a few spoonfuls at a time rather than eating a whole piece. (I cut the cake in half, then cut the half in half and then cut the quarter in two and took those two pieces home) We got this on Saturday and I just finished it today, so I don’t think that was too bad.

Hubby won’t be home tonight as there is an awards ceremony for his job and he’s gotten three awards so he has to be there to accept them.  Apparently it’s a rather long ceremony and it will be rather late by the time it’s all over so he’s staying at a colleague’s house overnight.  So as it’s just me tonight, I can be a bit relaxed about when I have my dinner.  I made lamb burgers for dinner last night and I still have one left over, so I’ll be having that again tonight.  I have no problem with leftovers.  I might even have a martini…

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And in the news:  Royal Mail will be upping it’s already high price of a first class stamp from 46p to a whopping 60p!  A second class stamp will go from thecurrent 36p to 50p, both effective at the end of April.  According to a Royal Mail spokesman, the price rises are ‘really needed, given our financial position’.  The only good thing about this is that stamps do not have the actual price on them, but only say 1st or 2nd class.  This means that we can buy all the stamps we want now at the current price and still use them once the price goes up and there’s no limit on how many you can buy.  I heard on the radio today that someone has bought about 4,000 stamps…that should hold them for awhile….

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Try eating strong-smelling foods such as garlic, if you’re watching your weight.  Dutch scientists found strong smells tell our brains to take smaller bites – up to 10% smaller.  It’s possibly an evolutionary process that stopped cavemen taking large bites of rotten foods.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

♥♥ Terri  ♥♥

Hey, You’ve got Egg on Your Face!

You’ve seen the ads:  women lounging with their hair wrapped up, cream all over their face and cucumbers on their eyes.  This wasn’t just to block out the light.  Cucumbers, along with other foods in your kitchen, are home-made alternatives that can be used in place of other beauty products you normally use.

Cucumber slices placed over your eyes have long been used as treatment to decrease puffiness. Their high water and sodium content help to cool your skin while pulling the excess water from around your eyes, resulting in a smoother and less puffy appearance. Make sure you thoroughly wash the cucumber before putting it anywhere near your face.

Another puffy eye remedy is caffeine.  No don’t worry, you’re not going to use coffee as an eye wash!  Tea bags can be used in place of cucumbers.  After making a cup of tea, let the tea bag cool.  Make sure the tea bags are squeezed dry then chill and place on your eyes.  Other skin products are now listing caffeine as an ingredient to be applied on other parts of your body.  While it can decrease the redness of your skin, many are using it in creams and lotions that target decreasing cellulite.

Honey is another good skin moisturizer.  Nurture your skin with a tablespoon of honey wiped around the cheeks, chin and forehead and leave on for 10 minutes (don’t forget the cucumber slices or tea bags!) then rinse off with warm water for a cheap moisturizing mask.

Next time you are dividing an egg to use just the whites, don’t throw the yolks down the drain. Egg yolk makes for a firming and refreshing face mask. Simply whip up a yolk and then lightly spread it on your face. Leave it in place for at least 15 minutes or until it hardens then rinse with cool water and pat your face dry, never rub.  To make an exfoliating mask for dry skin, mix the egg white with a tablespoon of oatmeal.  Spread on your face and leave for five minutes.  Rinse off with cool water.

Another face mask can be made with strawberries.  Remove the stems from about five or six strawberries and mash to a paste.  Spread on your face and leave for 15 minutes.  Rinse with cool water and pat your face dry.

Fresh grapefruit juice works wonders on tense, tired feet. Fill a foot bath with warm water and squeeze out the juice from a grapefruit or two. Soak your feet in the grapefruit juice and water for 30 minutes or more for a fine, softening agent on your tired tootsies. This works great in the summer with cold water instead of warm. The scent is simply delicious.

Enjoy an invigorating carrot and coffee body scrub. Mix 1/2 lb. of freshly ground coffee with 2 tbsp. of corn meal and 1/2 lb. of grated carrots. Massage the mixture into dry areas to moisturize and revitalize. Rinse thoroughly.

Green tea is healthy and delicious to drink, but it also can be the basis for a spa-quality beauty treatment. Enjoy a relaxing green tea bath soak by making a cup of green tea using 2-3 tea bags.  Pour it into your warm bath water, and enjoy.

For a body exfoliator for all skin types, cut a fresh orange in half and squeeze the juice of one half into a bowl. Add ¼ cup granulated sugar or you can use sea salt and ¼ cup olive oil and then blend into a moisture rich scrub. Next, rub the exposed side of the other half of the orange over the knees, elbows, heels, and any other dry spots. Slough off the dead skin by rubbing in the mixture. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Use beer for flat or dull hair.  Yeast and hops help to swell the hair shaft and plump the cuticle, adding volume. The acidity of the beer helps remove built up products residue.  In the shower, after you’ve shampooed, pour a bottle of beer over your hair.  A rich beer with a high yeast content works best (no light beer).  To avoid the smelling like a eau de liqour cabinet, rinse briefly with fresh water.

Tips & Warnings…

If you happen to be allergic to a certain food, never use it on your skin.

♥ Be careful when applying anything around your eyes. You don’t want to get a glob of egg yolk or anything else in them.

♥ Just as you would never eat rotten food, don’t use rotten food for beauty products.

I told you there was egg on your face…..

STRAWBERRY CREAM BREAD

Even though I follow South Beach Diet, occasionally I make something that I really shouldn’t have.  I made this STRAWBERRY CREAM BREAD last week as we were having my mother-in-law over for dinner, so she is my excuse for making something sweet.

I’ve had this recipe for some time, but don’t know where it came from as I had retyped it to put into my recipe binder, so unfortunately, I can’t give credit to the originator of the recipe.

In looking for something to make, I really had no idea what to make although I was thinking of doing something simple.  Fortunately, hubby brought home a 400g punnet of strawberries from the Reduced to Clear section (oh you know how we love that section!) that he got for only 25p.  Considering that they normally go for about £1.99 on a good day, 25p was exceptionally good!

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STRAWBERRY CREAM BREAD

1 3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 C sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C strawberries, fresh and coarsely chopped (do NOT use frozen) (fresh blueberries can also be used)
3/4 C walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350f/180c.  Grease an 8″ X 4″ loaf pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.

In small bowl, beat butter until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beat 1 minute or until light and airy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Beat in sour cream and vanilla.

Stir into flow mixture only until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fold in berries and nuts, if using.  Pour into pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Cream Bread

***LET STAND 10 MINUTES IN PAN***.  I emphasize this as the first time I made this, I was too hasty in getting it out of the pan…and half of it stayed in the pan! Turn out on rack to cool.

This went very nicely with a cuppa tea after dinner.  I gave mum-in-law half of what was left so that I didn’t end up eating the whole thing myself!

It’s really simple to make and you might want to try it with the blueberries or maybe even peaches.  Be experimental and enjoy!

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Terri’s Tasty Tip….

What to do with…

Turnips:  Scrub and cook whole if small, or peel and cut in pieces if larger.  Cut into strips for crudites or grate in salads.  Boil, steam, roast, saute or stir fry, add to soups, stews and casseroles.  Good mashed with potatoes.  Leaves can be cooked like other greens.  Flavor pairing with lamb, bacon, duck, apples, mushrooms, potatoes, sherry, goose, game and cheese. (taken from MasterChef Kitchen Bible)