salmondill

Image: Parade.condenast.com

Entertaining this weekend? No problem, with this slimming skillet dinner! It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and is super scrumptious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 (6 oz) pieces skinless salmon fillet
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed
  • ½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp chopped capers
  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium for 1 minute.
  2. Sprinkle salmon with ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook, turning once, for about 10 minutes or until fish is opaque.
  3. Steam beans in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket.  Drain.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt, lemon juice, dill, capers, and remaining salt and pepper.  Top salmon with a dollop of sauce, sprinkle with dill, and server with green beans.

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todolist09

Image: denovahomes.com

If your kitchen is the heart of your home, then your refrigerator is the brains behind it. Since I’m always in my kitchen, I keep my TO DO list on my refrigerator and try to accomplish three big activities a week. I’ve asked my friends what items or activities are on their personal TO DO list for the month of September. The top three are…

  1. Update family emergency contact list.
  2. Clean out refrigerator and make room for autumn foods.
  3. Move summer clothes out of the closets and bring in the fall wardrobe.

What’s on your TO DO list?

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farfellewithmushroom

Image: Recipe.com

Farfalle with spinach and mushrooms is a fast and filling dinner with an added bonus…. It’s SUPER LOW in FAT! It’s so delicious and only takes 10 minutes to prepare. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. dried farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced Portobello or other fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in spinach, thyme and pepper and cook until spinach is slightly wilted, about 1 min.
  3. Toss mushrooms and spinach mixture with pasta and sprinkle with cheese.

Enjoy, enjoy!

 

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yoga

Image: Massageyogawellness.com

Guess what?! You are invited to a free yoga class! To celebrate National Yoga Month, many studios offer free classes so you can perfect your downward dog-without spending a dime. Visit yogahealthfoundation.org to find a participating studio near you.

Namaste~

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backpacks

Image:  Overstock.com

I admit, today I have the summer blues. It’s my second week back to school and can’t believe the summer is already over. Where did the time go?

Since some children have already gone back to school and others will be going back today, I thought it would be wise to discuss backpack safety. Yes, backpack safety.

According to Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, professor of pediatrics at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, OR, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, a too-heavy school bag can be dangerous. It can cause muscle strains and sprains, or put your child at risk for hip and leg injuries.  Did you know backpacks should weigh no more than 10% to 20% of your child’s body weight and should be worn high on the back, as close to the shoulders as possible? Yuppers.

Let’s all stay healthy, have a wonderful school year, and make sure we don’t over-pack our backpacks!

 

Posted in Clue Me In with Medical facts | Leave a comment

ocam

Image:  Knowcancer.com

Did you know that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month? For those of you who know people who have or who have had ovarian cancer, I imagine that you’ll join me in thinking that this disease certainly falls into the f-bomb category. Right?

Did you also know that a woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer every 37 minutes….and that ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers? It is also the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women. See what I mean about the f-bomb?

In recognizing the importance of raising awareness about ovarian cancer, President Obama (whose mother died of ovarian cancer) issued a proclamation designating September National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The proclamation asserts:

This year, thousands of American women will lose their lives to ovarian cancer.  They are mothers and daughters, sisters and grandmothers, community members and cherished friends — and the absence they leave in our hearts will be deeply felt forever.  During National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, we honor those we have lost, show our support for women who bravely carry on the fight, and take action to lessen the tragic toll ovarian cancer takes on families across our Nation.

Whatever your politics, I believe that this proclamation is a Shining Moment for all those women and their families affected by this horrendous disease because it brings much needed awareness to such an horrific disease.

If you have or know anyone who has ovarian cancer, please know that my heart is with you.

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eggs

Image: Forbes.com

A Half-Dozen Reasons Why You Can’t Beat Eggs

Did you know the incredible edible egg has a nutrient content that most cereals and yogurts don’t? Of course you did, right? Well here’s more information you may not know about eggs that I think is pretty groovy. (I love that word).

  1. Zero Carbs and No Sugar
    That’s right! Eggs contain zero carbs and no sugar.  That means you can eat a well-rounded breakfast during the week without feeling round yourself.
  2. Amino Acids
    Eggs have all 9 essential amino acids.  Seems like a lot but remember – they ARE essential. (Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, Histidine, Valine, Threonine and Isoleucine)
  3. No Gluten, No Problem
    Let’s not forget that eggs are gluten-free.  I like anything that’s free! Always have been, always will be.  And that’s awesome because there isn’t exactly a glut of gluten-free breakfast options.
  4. More Food for Thought
    Unlike most cereals and yogurt, eggs don’t come with a complicated, jam-packed ingredient list because they only contain one ingredient. It’s called “eggs.”  And at 15cents a serving, eggs are the least expensive source of high-protein. That’s right, 15 cents.
  5. Got Choline?
    Eggs are rich in choline, which is a weird word but it’s a “good weird” because choline promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients through-out the body. Think of it as a commuter train for vitamins and minerals.
  6. Protein
    If you start your weekday with cereal or toast instead of eggs, here’s a wake-up call:  Did you know eggs have 6 grams of high-quality protein?  And did you know a protein-packed breakfast helps sustain mental and physical energy throughout the day?  That’s good news, especially if you’re a body-building chess champion.

So next time someone asks how you like your eggs, say you like ‘em a whole heck of a lot.  Wake up to eggs!

 

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wbthtgp

Image: Amazon.com

“Why? Why? Why? …is a common and natural response to nonsensical tragedy that is an inherent part of life. After my breast cancer diagnosis, an innumerable number of people posed the “Why?” question to me: “How is it,” they wondered, “that someone who is as healthy and fit and happy as you are get diagnosed with cancer?”

I never questioned my diagnosis (or even my abhorrent reaction to the treatments). I felt as though, for reasons unbeknownst to me, that breast cancer was the experience that I was supposed to have. Further, I channeled any (unanswerable) questioning into action, which turned out to be a great source of Shining Moments.

It’s not to say that I haven’t ever asked the big “Why?” question because I certainly have. Many times. For example when a dear friend died two years ago (after having been diagnosed with lymphoma), I certainly asked WHY? (Actually, I asked WTF?).

A book that seems to be omnipresent in the cancer world is When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Rabbi Harold Kushner. As a small-town rabbi he counseled other people through pain and grief. But it was not until he learned that his three-year-old son, Aaron, would die in his early teens of a rare disease that he confronted one of life’s most difficult questions: Where do we find the resources to cope when tragedy strikes?

In order to come up with an explanation of tragedy and suffering which satisfies both honest observation of reality and faith in a good God, Rabbi Kushner begins by assessing the explanations for suffering which he grew up with and encountered when trying to deal with Aaron’s illness and death, all of which failed to satisfy.

Years later, Rabbi Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. Kushner shares his wisdom as a rabbi, a parent, a reader, and a human being.

Rabbi Kushner has been quoted as saying, “I [wrote this book] out of my own need to put into words some of the most important things I have come to believe and know. And I would write it to help other people who might one day find themselves in a similar predicament. I am fundamentally a religious man who has been hurt by life, and I wanted to write a book that could be given to the person who has been hurt by life, and who knows in his heart that if there is justice in the world, he deserved better.”

Since its original publication in 1981, this often imitated but never superseded book is a classic that offers clear thinking and consolation in times of sorrow. When Bad Things Happen to Good People has brought solace and hope to millions of readers.

From my perspective as a breast cancer patient in 2008-2009, I would encourage people to keep asking the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

However, (here comes the slightly deep-seated part), after asking the question, I would encourage you to cease looking for answers. Instead, I advocate that you start formulating a response. The Shining Moment is that inexplicable calamity creates an opportunity to take virtuous rage and desolation and turn it into a force for doing good.

No it’s not easy. I would never suggest otherwise. What I do know for sure is that flabbergasting circumstances and even indignation can be redirected and channeled into action. When you see innocent people suffering, help them. Combat the pain in the world with goodness. Alleviate anguish wherever you can. At least that’s how I’m rolling…”

 

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ricottasalad

Image and Recipe: Marthastewart.com

Did you know beets are high in fiber, full of iron, and loaded with cancer-fighting beta-carotene and folic acid? I sure didn’t. Beets will last one month in the refrigerator (you read that correctly), but the greens need to be used within a few days.

Earthy beets paired with tart-sweet plums in this sublime salad make for a wonderful meal. I had it for lunch the other day, and actually went back for seconds. I think the fresh ricotta adds a creamy delicious layer adding a smooth texture to the salad.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium beets (such as a mix of red, yellow, and Chioggia) trimmed, scrubbed, and quartered
  • 3 plums, pitted and cut into wedges
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta
  • 3 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves

Place beets in a steamer basket or colander set in a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water.  Cover and steam until beets are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 20 minutes.  Let cool, then remove skins.  Slice beets into small pieces.

Arrange beets, plums, and ricotta on a platter.  Drizzle with vinegar and oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Top with basil leaves, and serve immediately.

Boy, oh boy! How is this for eating clean?!

 

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lefthanded

Image: Glynnesoaps.com

Today is left-handed day! For all the lefty’s out there, this post is for you. Woo hoo!

In elementary school, my teachers did their darndest to change the dominant hand of many kids from left to right. Most of the kids turned their papers sideways – literally sideways – and wrote top to bottom, right to left. It did look rather odd, but who am I to judge! I still don’t understand why the teachers bought into the bunk notion that being a lefty is an affliction. I think it’s so silly, don’t you?

If you happen to be left-handed, you are in excellent company:

  • John F. Kennedy
  • Ronald Regan
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Bill Clinton
  • Barack Obama
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Michelangelo
  • Alexander the Great
  • Julius Ceasar
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Helen Keller
  • Carol Burnett
  • Kermit the Frog
  • Goldie Hawn
  • Sara Jessica Parker
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Babe Ruth

How many of you, dear readers, are left-handed?

 

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