How to Choose Healthier Meals and Prepare Them

When eating food with family and friends try not to eat unhealthy, high fat and high calorie foods. Food does not have to be tasteless neither when you eat with family and friends. Making a few small changes in your meal choice can make a huge difference.
You don’t have to avoid meat to eat healthier. Just make better choices when choosing meat. Meat is more leaner today than it has been in the past because of the fat trimming done by meatpackers or butchers. The best choices are beef that has been labeled round, loin, and extra lean. Cuts like tenderloin, sirloin, or top round qualify as lean and healthy according to the Wisconsin beef council. In addition to buying lean meats, there are some healthy ways you can cook meat as well; including baking, braising, broiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming. Use cooking spray instead of oil or butter while prepping and use nonstick pans. One way to decrease fat is to strain cooked ground beef, afterwards rinse it with hot water, and drain it very good before continuing to cook.

When we think of lean meat, we often think about chicken. Many times we turn the healthy chicken into something unhealthy such as fried chicken. Try avoiding fried chicken including chicken tenders, patties, and nuggets. Try baking, broiling, roasting, and steaming chicken instead. Remember to use cooking spray with a nonstick pan. Take note that the dark meat of poultry contains twice as much fat as the white meat of poultry. The skin of chicken contains a lot of fat. You can always remove the skin from chicken or buy skinless chicken. You can usually find skinless chicken breast in the grocery stores.
Eating lean turkey is a wonderful choice as well. When preparing turkey, cook the stuffing separately. By cooking the stuffing separately you will decrease the fat content because you will keep the stuffing from soaking up the fat from the turkey. Also use less margarine or butter when preparing the stuffing and skim fat from the gravy. You can use a gravy separator or refrigerate the gravy. Choose the light meat over the dark meat because light meat has less calories. You can give the dark meat to someone who wouldn’t mind the extra calories.
Instead of serving vegetable casseroles or cheese based vegetable meals, try serving steamed vegetables. You don’t have to add any fat to vegetables when you steam or microwave them. You can replace margarine with herbs, lemon juice, or vinegar. You can also replace oil, cheese, or butter with spices and herbs or imitation butter sprinkles for taste. When sautéing vegetables you can reduce the amount of oil and use flavored vinegar and broth as a replacement for oil.

When choosing bread choose whole grain. For example you can choose whole grain noodles, whole grain/wheat bread to make sandwiches, whole grain dinner rolls, whole grain breading for stuffing, whole grain hamburger buns and the list goes on and on. Refined/white bread is known to be high in calories and refined sugar than whole grain bread. The refined sugar is bad carbs. If you can’t resist white bread try eating a version with less calories.

Top photo credit: Turkey, preparing to be dried by rklau

In text photo credit: Steaming Vegetables for lunch by Eyebee

Ginseng Health Benefits

Ginseng is used in a very popular health drink in several Asian countries including China, Japan, and Korea. It has medicinal abilities and a distinctive taste. The Chinese term “jen-shen” which means in the image of man, is where the word ginseng came from. Ginseng is in reference to a group of herbs from the plant family Araliacae. The three main types of ginseng are American ginseng (panax quinquefolius), Oriental ginseng (Chinese or Korean), and Siberian ginseng (Eleutheroccus senticosis).

According to traditional Chinese medicine each type has their own distinctive benefits. Ginseng contains complicated mixtures of carbohydrate and nitrogenous compounds in addition to other important minerals and vitamins. Research has found ginsenosides compounds as the main active component in ginseng. Ginseng is very useful for respiratory tract disorders, improvement of blood circulation, and fever because it has a cooling effect. Research has shown that the active component in ginseng called ginsenosides is responsible for the health benefits of ginseng. Because of the health benefits ginseng possess people all over the world is using it as an alternative medicine.
People consume ginseng in many different ways. Some people consume it through a health beverage while others may consume it in a ginseng candy that is sold in a lot of health food stores and some may use ginseng in their tea. Throughout Asia people drink a ginseng health beverage. It is believed that ginseng assists with the following: helps prevent diabetes, increase stamina, detoxify poisons, decrease effects of alcohol intoxication, treat the flu, increase secretion of body fluids, decrease fatigue, help liver to regenerate, prevent coughing, prevent asthma, increase formation of red blood cells, helps get rid of anemia, prevent tuberculosis, treat infections, increase the strength of the gastrointestinal system, helps prevent neuroses, get rid of hangovers, and normalize pulmonary functions.

Ginseng is also used to increase mental and physical performance and fights mental and physical stress. Studies have shown that people who consumed ginseng supplements were able to overcome higher levels of physical and emotional complications. Regular consumption of ginseng can decrease the chances of developing cancers such as liver, lungs, and ovaries and can make you feel better and more alert. It may also improve memory. Some consumers of the ginseng health beverage may add gingko biloba, a healing ingredient.

Regular consumption of ginseng can treat impotence, improve sexual performance, and assist in increasing sperm production. Research shows that ginseng promotes the release of nitric oxide and improves blood flow to the penis, which improves sexual performance and pleasure. More research is still being done to learn more about ginseng effectiveness for medicinal purposes.


Top photo credit: Fresh ginseng roots by u m a m i

In text photo credit: Korean Ginseng Drink [front] by robotbrainz

Baked French Fries

Make these French fries with any seasoning you like. You can cut the French fries in any size you like such as thin or chunky. You can make the French fries with seasoning or leave the seasoning off and just dip the fries in ketchup. This recipe includes seasoning but you can choose whatever seasonings that satisfy your taste buds. This recipe serves 4.


4 medium – large potatoes
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 F. place aluminum foil on an oven tray and coat it with a non-stick cooking spray. Wash the potatoes off and stick holes in the potatoes with a fork. Microwave potatoes on high until they are tender but not soft for 8 to 10 minutes. Cut the potatoes length wise into the desire size you want. Place the fries on the tray and brush them with the vegetable oil. Sprinkle the fries with the seasonings and bake on the top oven shelf for 45 minutes or until they are crispy. Serve.


Photo credit: olive oil French fries, yes, oven-baked by Gail

Three Supplements or Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy

Taking prenatal vitamins give your body folate and other important nutrients during your pregnancy. Some women may even take herbs. If you are pregnant, you should be careful when taking herbs. Research all about any herb before consuming them while you’re pregnant. Find out if it will be safe for you to consume if you are pregnant. Some women may have consumed herbs before they became pregnant to treat a certain condition and some women may take herbs to help them with their pregnancy. Below we will talk about some of the herbs, supplements, or food additives you should avoid during pregnancy to protect the health of your baby


Quinine: You can find quinine in many drinks such as tonic water. Tonic water is very popular for its unique bitter taste. One woman that drunk more than a liter of tonic water daily during her pregnancy gave birth to a baby that suffered withdrawal symptoms. The baby had nervous tremors within 24 hours of being born. The nervous tremors disappeared 2 months later. The federal institute for risk assessment in Germany stated that pregnant women should treat drinks with quinine in them as a medicinal product and avoid them during pregnancy for safety of the unborn baby. Even if the amount of quinine in a drink is a small amount still avoid it.

Ginseng: There are more than 20 components of ginseng. Researchers at the Chinese university of Hong Kong Prince of Wales hospital discovered that one of the components can be a possible concern for pregnant women. The researchers used rats to test the effectiveness of the component on fetal development. The researchers discovered that the rat embryonic development was affected. The higher the dose they gave the rats meant the higher the abnormalities.
In since the study was done on rats it may not have the same effects on humans. The component of ginseng the research studied was ginsenoside called Rb1. Ginseng has more than 20 ginsenosides and each one does different things.
One problem with researching components of herbs is that the whole herb extract may have a different effect than the single component. Because of this the results of the study should be treated cautiously especially due to the fact that the research is being tested on rats and not humans. For safety it is best to avoid ginseng during pregnancy.



Ginkgo Biloba: It is best to avoid ginkgo biloba while pregnant. One component of ginkgo biloba was found in the placenta of women who have consumed ginkgo biloba supplements according to researchers at Wayne state university in Detroit. That component is an alkaloid called colchicine which can be fatal if consumed in high doses. It has anti-inflammatory effects. Some research has discovered that colchicine can harm a developing fetus. When taking ginkgo supplements regularly during pregnancy colchicine can build up in the womb. Researchers state that there were no connections between ginkgo and complications. The study only focused on colchicine in the womb.

Message: Before taking any herbs or herbal supplements while pregnant always consult with your doctor first. Some herbs can be harmful to your unborn child. Although this article only mentions three herbs or herbal supplements to avoid while pregnant, keep in mind that there are much more herbs out there that you should avoid as well.

Top photo credit: Wild Quinine by cotinis

In text photo credit: Ginkgo biloba by marcleh

11 Top Super Healthy Foods and Beverages: Part Two

We have information on the top eleven wonderful and healthiest foods. You should try these foods and tell everyone about them. We mention foods from whole grains, nuts, legumes, beans, fruits, and vegetables. This is part two.

Walnuts: walnuts contain omega-3 fats. ¼ cup of walnuts provides 90% of omega-3s needed in one day. The health benefits of walnuts are improved cognitive function, cardiovascular protection, helps fight against cancer, immune system support, anti-inflammatory advantages that relates to rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis


Skim milk and yogurt: Skim milk has a great source of calcium, vitamin d, and k and promotes strong healthy bones. The nutrients in skim milk helps protect colon cells from cancer causing chemicals, migraine headaches, childhood obesity, bone loss, and premenstrual symptoms. Research shows that skim milk or yogurt can help adults lose weight. Yogurt includes essential nutrients such as zinc, protein, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin B2, B5, and B12. The live bacterial cultures in yogurt provide health benefits that can help strengthen your immune system and can help increase longevity.

Lentils and Black Beans: Lentils and black beans is a good source of fiber and can lower your cholesterol. The fiber helps maintain your blood sugar levels. Also lentils and black beans are high quality proteins and fat free with other minerals and B-Vitamins. Lentils and black beans fill you up without increasing your waist.
Salmon: Salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fats and low in saturated fat. Salmon is recommended twice a week and is considered a heart healthy food. Eat wild salmon instead of farm raised salmon. Studies show that farm raised salmon may cause cancer because it may have high levels of carcinogenic chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls.


Green tea and enhanced water: green tea contains beneficial phytonutrients and lower levels of caffeine than other teas. It is also a cancer fighter and has antioxidants that helps reduce cancer, periodontal disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and bacterial or viral infections to cardiovascular disease. A trend that’s out is water packed with vitamins and/or naturally sweetened fruit. Some of the enhanced water has a full supply of vitamin c and some have no artificial sweetener with a fruity taste.

The super healthy foods we just listed are worth eating or drinking and now that you know which foods and beverages are healthy, it’s time to go grocery shopping for your health.


Top photo credit: Walnuts by Jonas Tana

In text photo credit: Lentils by TheBazile

Strawberry Yogurt Drink

This yummy, nutritious, and thick drink can be for breakfast, desert, or a snack. To get the best flavor for this drink choose very ripe strawberries. For this recipe you can use different fruits, such as pineapples, bananas, or berries. It’s best to drink this recipe as soon as you make it.


¾ cup low-fat milk
½ cup low-fat strawberry yogurt
1 ¾ cup strawberries
1 tablespoon organic sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Wash strawberries and remove stalks. Add the strawberries, milk, yogurt, sugar, and cinnamon to a blender. Place lid on blender and blend ingredients until well blended. Pour the strawberry yogurt drink into two glasses and serve.


Photo credit: strawberry smoothie by Paul Wells

11 Top Super Healthy Foods and Beverages: Part One

We have information on the top eleven wonderful and healthiest foods. You should try these foods and tell everyone about them. We mention foods from whole grains, nuts, legumes, beans, fruits, and vegetables. This is part one.

Blueberries: This low calorie berry has the ability to destroy free radicals that can cause cancer. Blueberries have antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins, which improves the effects of vitamin c. These antioxidants may assists in preventing glaucoma, varicose veins, cataracts, heart disease, peptic ulcers, hemorrhoids, and cancer.
Cantaloupe: Almost all the vitamin A need in one day is provided by ¼ of cantaloupe. You get two nutrients at once in since the beta-carotene in cantaloupe converts to vitamin A. Both nutrients may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Cantaloupe is a wonderful source of vitamin C, which helps the immune system. Cantaloupe is also a great source of dietary fiber, folate, niacin, vitamin b6, and potassium, which assists in keeping up with good blood sugar levels and metabolism. Cantaloupe may help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes have an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, and Vitamin A, C, and B6. Sweet potatoes are great for people that smoke or second hand smoke because it can help prevent you from emphysema. For dessert you can eat sliced or cubed sweet potato without the skin with honey or syrup drizzled on top with a dash of cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, C, and K. Tomatoes can battle heart disease and cancers such as prostate, breast, colorectal, lung, pancreas, and endometrial. Tomato juice by itself may help reduce blood clotting. Fresh organic tomatoes give 3 times as much the cancer fighting carotenoid lycopene. Organic ketchup is better for you than nonorganic ketchup. When shopping for tomato sauces and pastes look for the ones that have the whole tomato including the skin/peels because you will absorb 75% more lycopene and almost twice the amount of beta-carotene.
Kale and Spinach: When considering green leafy vegetables, kale and spinach top the list. They are known for their cancer fighting and heart helping abilities. They provide Vitamin A and C. Spinach contains a lot of Vitamin k, it has almost 200% of the daily value, this helps decrease bone loss. Boiled kale has a good source of calcium with 25% per cup.
Whole grain and brown rice: When buying whole grain foods make sure its 100% whole grain. Check for the ingredients on the food package. To give an example, Look for whole wheat flour as one of the first ingredients in whole wheat bread. It’s not whole wheat bread if it’s not listed as such. Not only does wheat bran helps the body fight cancer but it also assists you in regulating your bowel movements. Brown rice is better and healthier than white rice. 50 to 90% of manganese, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin B1, B3, B6, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids we need are destroyed when turning brown rice or whole wheat flour into white flour or white rice. Even if white flour or white rice is enriched after being process, it is not the same thing as it was originally. 11 nutrients are lost and not replaced during the enrichment process. So eat up on your whole wheat and brown rice.
The super healthy foods we just listed are worth eating and now that you know which foods are healthy, it’s time to go grocery shopping for your health.

Top photo credit: cantaloupe by Royalty-free image

In text photo credit: Sweet Potatoes by Wally Hartshorn

Top tips to be successful with your healthy New Year resolution goals

Every year many people come up with their own New Year resolutions. Health decisions are among others at the top of the list. We hear anything from eat healthier, get into shape, quit smoking, exercise more often, and stay on diet. Despite all the goals we make for ourselves, we never seem to reach them and some of us never seem to start them.
Professionals state that the reason many people do not succeed with their resolution goals is because the resolutions are not planned out or at least not strategically planned. Below we will provide tips that will assist you in accomplishing your health goals for the New Year.

* Be realistic with your goals and stay dedicated to them. Staying committed to your goals is the important motivational factor that keeps you on the right path to completing your resolution goals. On the other hand establishing unrealistic goals such as lose 30 pounds in one to two weeks of eating healthy, can easily fail. Make sure your New Year resolutions goals are realistic and reasonable.

* Keeping up with your goals can be difficult, but make sure you make your resolution goals easy to complete. Make your New Year goal easier by implementing other or new materials. For example, instead of using a hand juicer to juice your fruits and vegetables try investing in an electronic juicer to make your work easier and more efficient. This will save you time and you will have more time to spend on your other resolution goals. Another example would be, if you are trying to quit smoking try implementing products such as gum and patches that will help you wean off of smoking easier. Despite what your new year resolution goals are just stay dedicated to them, be realistic, and never give up.

Top photo credit: New Years Eve in Central Park by Hans J. Hansen

In text photo credit: Happy New Year by Ängsbacka

Corn on the cob

Corn on the cob is a favorite in many American Households. There are different ways in which people cook corn on the cob. We will show two different ways to cook corn on the cob. The method to cooking corn is very simple. Give it a try when you want something yummy and simple to cook.


1 cob of corn

If you want to boil corn on the cob, first pull off the husk and silk. Fill a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Place the corn in the boiling water for about ten minutes. After the corn is cooked drain water out the pot. Corn should be ready to eat. To microwave corn on the cob, first carefully pull open a few of the leaves and remove the silk. After you remove the silk, close up the leaves around the corn. Microwave corn on high for 5 to 7 minutes until corn is nice and tender. Enjoy. To season or flavor the corn you might want to spread some butter on it and season it with a little sprinkle of seasoned salt or season the water that you boil the corn in.

Photo credit: Corn on the Cob by Carol VanHook

Enhance Your Health with a Natural Colon Cleanse

You can benefit from a natural colon cleanse if you have constipation. It is common for hard materials made of a combination of fecal matter and mucous to become impacted on the inside walls of the intestines and colon. This can cause health problems. Nutrients will have a difficult time absorbing into the bloodstream from the intestines. This can cause someone to feel depressed, tired, and bloated.

A colon cleanse softens and removes the hardened material. Basically an herbal cleanse is a natural version of a laxative. Cascara sagrada bark, aloe Vera leaf, and fenugreek seed are herbs that help the body move waste through the system. Many times these herbs are found in herbal formulations for constipation. Fennel seed which assist with gas and cramps; and peppermint, which aids digestion are herbs that supports the laxative effect. Besides laxative herbs a colon cleanse is most likely to have herbs like dandelion root or red clover which cleanse the urinary tract and the blood to cleanse the whole system of toxins. It’s unfortunate that herbs can be as harsh to the system as laxatives.
Another type of natural colon cleanser involves an oxygen based formula that has a chemical reaction with the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The chemical reaction causes the fecal matter to liquefy into liquid and gas so it can be released easily. One of the differences between herbal colon cleanse and oxygen based natural colon cleanse is that herbal cleanse will cause you to expel dark rubbery stools with the consistency of tire tread. Oxygen cleanser will cause you to expel liquid or soft stools.

Eat fiber in addition to a natural colon cleanse. The fiber can be in the form of psyllium seed husk, bran, prunes and other natural foods. It’s good to add fiber to your diet if you have constipation any way. However eating fiber alone will not complete your colon cleanse, but you should still eat your fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and eat less unhealthy foods. Enemas can also be included with colon cleansing. You might be told that it’s best to have an enema on a day you do not defecate during your natural colon cleanse. Your goal can be to have 3 to 4 bowel movements on any given day, which can happen if you pick an oxygen based cleanse.
Eliminating fecal substance from the colon eliminates a lot of toxins from the system. Removing toxins from the system is very beneficial. This can cause more energy, clearer skin, less headaches, improved allergy symptoms and much more. Results can vary from person to person, but many people report benefits from doing a colon cleanse.

Top photo credit: P1300440 by Hella Delicious

In text photo credit: Aloe vera x arborescens – leaves by tonrulkens