Average Kid Consumes Up to 7,000 Calories on Halloween Night

Photo via Flickr: by JefferyTurner

With obesity statistics sky-rocketing and the rate of cavities the highest in 40 years Halloween needs a brand overhaul. According to Time Magazine and Donna Arnett, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s School of Public Health, “Based on the nutrition labels on popular candies, the average child accumulates 3,500 to 7,000 calories worth of treats on Halloween night. According to a recent report, a 100-pound child who consumed all of those treats, or 7,000 calories, would have to walk for nearly 44 hours to burn those calories.” And kids have fast metabolisms…think about us adults! Even if you don’t have kids, you may be tempted to over-indulge with all that extra candy at the office or left over treats from the stash you were giving to trick-or-treaters.

To survive Halloween’s massive calorie consumption, try these four tips:

1. Sell Your Candy to a Good Cause

More than 1,000 dentists nationwide are buying candy from kids at $1 per pound and then shipping it to U.S. troops overseas via Operation Gratitude as part of a Halloween Candy Buy-Back program, started by Wisconsin dentist Dr. Chris Kammer.

2. Purchase Candy You Don’t Like

Don’t use Halloween as an excuse to buy your favorite candy for lucky trick-or-treaters as you’ll be tempted to indulge…one for you, one for me…instead, buy your least favorite candy (we can already think of a few) and forget about the risk of racking up extra pounds.

3. Freeze It

Take out enough candy for the week – and literally put the rest in the freezer. It will be such a pain to unfreeze your chocolate bars (and a bit desperate) that you’ll pass your craving before it can defrost.

4. Eat Dinner

Before taking your kids trick or treating, or before handing out candy to kids, eat a full dinner. If you’re full, you’re less likely to fill up on sweets.

Hangover Remedy from Dr. Elson Haas EZ as A,B,C!

Background photo: D. Sharon Pruitt

We are big fans of Dr. Elson Haas of Preventative Medical Center of Marin, he is a pioneer in combining the best or western and eastern philosophies when it comes to healthcare with an emphasis on nutrition.  Hence when his latest book was published, The Detox Diet, we had to share a few items with you.

For not particular reason, we flipped right to “Hangover Remedies” ;) Here’s the scoop.

1. If you’ve been drinking alcohol make sure you have a couple glasses of water before going to sleep along with vitamin C and a B-complex to clear the alcohol from the blood.

2. Repeat above  when you wake up.

3. Evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil can also be helpful.

So as a review ladies, when drinking (excessive) Alcohol, take (water) and vitamins B and C.

Citrus Punch – Party Favorite!

In time for your weekend plans we wanted to share a no-fail party punch recipe. Last fall, we were lucky to meet with the charming celebrity chef Bradley Odgen a James Beard Foundation award-winning chef and restauranteur who had just published his second cookbook, Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden.

One recipe that we have sampled and approved is the Winter Citrus Punch a spinoff of classic sangria and can be made up to three or four days in advance in big batches to share with a crowd at a party. While the official name is Winter Citrus Punch, it can be enjoyed anytime of the year.

Winter Citrus Punch With Spiced Pomegranate Ice

Serves 8

Ingredients

3 star anise, crushed

2 cups pomegranate juice, freshly squeezed
2 cups tangerine juice, freshly squeezed
8–10 peppermint leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
2 cups pineapple juice, freshly pressed
2 cups blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 cups orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed
8 shots of rum or Cointreau (one per person) or sparkling wine or champagne to taste, optional

To Make
1 In a small noncorrosive pan, combine the pomegranate juice, star anise and peppermint leaves and heat to a high simmer. 2 Turn down the heat and steep for 15 minutes, then strain. 3 Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. 4 Combine the remaining juices and refrigerate until needed. 5 Place juice and frozen cubes in a large punch bowl with slices of fruit on top or serve in individual glasses over the frozen cubes of pomegranate ice. 6 Garnish with peppermint sprigs. 7 For holiday cheer, add desired spirit.

Frozen Fruits – Cost Saver Huge Flavor!

D Sharon Pruitt

As we say so long to summer and bask in the glory of fall, we also bid adieu to many of the brightly colored, highly nutritious organic fresh fruits. Hence we did a bit of research on how  to freeze that last batch of summer fruit.

Thanks to AllRecipes.com for their tips of freezing fruit.

Wash fruits and sort for damaged fruit before freezing. Some fruits do best with a sugar or sugar-syrup preparation. Blueberries, currants, and cranberries do fine without sugar.

Here’s a trick for freezing delicate berries like strawberries or raspberries: Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic freezer bag or container. You can also prepare delicate berries with sugar or sugar syrup.

For fruits that tend to brown, like apples, peaches, nectarines and apricots, treat with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Look for the powdered form in health food stores, drugstores, and some grocery stores in the vitamin aisle. To make an ascorbic acid wash: Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of ascorbic acid powder (or finely crushed vitamin C tablets) in 3 tablespoons water. Sprinkle this mixture over the cut fruit. An acceptable substitute: Slice the fruit and dip the slices  in an acidulated water bath — about one quart water plus a tablespoon of lemon juice — before drying and freezing.

For the elusive frozen bananas (ours seem to collect ice crystals and turn brown ;( ) We’ve gone to LiveStrong.com for their advice. For preparation for smoothies they suggest peeling, cutting into 1/2 slices and putting on wax or parchment paper and place the banana slices onto it in a single layer and then placing the bananas in the freezer in a level spot for 30 minutes to an hour to solidify Otherwise, peel the bananas. (peeled frozen bananas can last up to four months, while those frozen with the peel last only two months) And place your bananas into a zipper freezer bag. Push as much air as you can out of the bag before sealing it shut. Don’t crowd or squish the bananas because it will make them harder to separate when you want to use them.

Fleet Week Recipes

Screenshot from bettycrocker.com

If you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend you can’t ignore the roar of the Blue Angels practicing for Fleet Week, and buzz from sailors (and sailing enthusiasts) around the world excited for the America’s Cup pre-races. It’s such a party, in fact that Humpback Whales have been spotted nearby getting in on the action.

The whales have been spotted over the past two weeks gallivanting just outside the Golden Gate and, in several cases, venturing inside the bay, raising concerns that there could be a collision.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a warning to all boaters, ship’s captains, para-sailors, paddlers and other water recreationists to watch out for whales and other large marine mammals this weekend.

Here are some fun Fleet Week Recipes gathered from around the web.

From Good Morning America U.S. Marine’s Barbeque Chicken. This recipe comes from a cook off between the U.S. Navy. We tried this one and it was delish!

  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken (broiler fryer), cut up into 8 portions.
  • 4 ounce bottle chili sauce
  • 1 16-ounce bottle tomato catsup
  • 4 ounces cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 ounces prepared mustard
  • 2 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the chicken on a shallow baking pan with space between the pieces. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir with a wire whisk until completely smooth.

Reserve half of the sauce for dipping. Spoon the sauce over the chicken; reserve 1/4 cup to spread over the chicken for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Bake in the oven until nicely browned and cooked through, 50 minutes to one hour.

Place on a serving platter and serve the sauce along with the chicken.

We also suggest Texas Caviar and make your own potato chips!

For dessert bettycrocker.com has a slew of cake type recipes (as seen above), our favorite is the angel food with berries (of course!).

Gotta have the signature drink! From one our favorite sites on the art or drinking, Drink of the Week here are their picks for five blue drinks:

  • The Aviation: Since it’s San Francisco and our bartenders are way into old-timey cocktails, prohibition and pre-prohibition era cocktails, try this yummy and delicious cocktail with crème violet that turns a pretty shade of blue.
  • The Blue Hawaii: For some reason, this drink makes me think of Top Gun and Top Gun makes me think of the Blue Angels.
  • The Red, White and BlueThey are our men in uniform. Need we say more? They bleed red, white and blue.
  • The Blue Moon: A pretty awesome drink. Give the boys in blue (or white) something new to try.
  • The Blue MotorcycleAgain, it brings back images of Maverick from Top Gun, which makes me think of the Blue Angels.

Have we missed one of your favorite recipes or Fleet Week party ideas?  Let us know ;)

3 Surprising Foods That Pack on Pounds

If you consider yourself a healthy eater, you just may be surprised to learn the shocking foods that could make you gain weight!

1. Fruit-flavored yogurt

Some brands of this stuff can be packed with about 25 grams of added sugar and an extra 100 calories. Instead, choose plain, nonfat yogurt and add a few slices of fresh strawberries or a handful of fresh blueberries. Yes, a little more time and money but a lot healthier!

2. Breakfast cereal (even the allegedly healthy kind)

If you’re guilty of eating cereal straight from the box, stop. Even lower-calorie, high-fiber cereals can add up in calorie count when eaten by the non-portion-controlling handful. Instead, only eat cereal with your liquid of choice (coconut milk, skim milk, almond milk). Not only will it fill you up faster but you’ll be forced to create the correct portion size. Also – check out how much cereal you’re actually pouring in the bowl. Until you get used to what a normal size is (about 2/3 a cup) use a measuring cup–you’ll be surprised at how much less it is than your traditional over-pours.

3. Sushi

Well, really just sushi with white rice. If you must have a “roll” opt for one with brown rice. According to our fave site Fit Sugar:

“White rice is what’s inside brown rice after the brown rice is polished down, removing the bran and the beneficial nutrients. Nutrients removed in the milling process include 67 percent of the vitamin B3, 80 percent of B1 vitamins, 90 percent of the vitamin B6, half the maganese and phosphorus, 60 percent of the iron, and all of the fiber and essential fatty acids. That’s why white rice comes “enriched” with B vitamins and iron.” Rice in either shade still has calories, so for the ultimate healthy choice, ask for your roll to be wrapped in cucumber, without the rice!

 

Photo Courtesy: by El Ronzo

Recipe: Spicy Tofu Bites

We’ve got a tasty vegan recipe for your weekend munching needs — and with only three ingredients it’s easy and doesn’t break the bank!

Spicy Tofu Bites

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Cut Firm Tofu into even squares

3. Toss Tofu with your favorite spicy buffalo wing sauce.

4. Sprinkle whole wheat bread crumbs and toss.

5. Lay evenly on foil lined and nonstick sprayed cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 45 minutes.

Strawberry and Lime Soda- EZ Party hit!

barbararies.com

As we were looking into sources of iodine – an essential mineral key to thyroid function - strawberries (after sea vegetables and a couple of others) were high on the list. Hence with a nod to health, we present this delicious strawberry and lime soda, from chef Justin Everett of Cavallo Point. Of course a handful, of organic-fresh-from-the-garden berries would be healthier -but not nearly as much fun!

Ingredients:

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
10 fresh strawberries
5 limes, juiced and zested
1K liter of soda water
Ice

Directions:

In a medium-size pot, combine the water and sugar and heat until it boils. This becomes a simple syrup. Remove the syrup from the pot and cool in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, dice the strawberries into a large pitcher. Next zest the limes over the strawberries then squeeze all of the juice from the limes and add it to the pitcher. To finish, add the soda water and ice to the lime-and-strawberry mixture, then add syrup until you reach the desired sweetness. Stir well, and serve.

Iodine: The EZ Way!

Somehow iodine iodine iodine has become the topic du jour around the lunch table at work. No big mystery as one of our friends is having a thyroid issue, which then created a sudden interest eating foods rich in iodine – the trace mineral essential in thyroid function. (And of course it’s touted as the first line of defense against the nuclear radiation fall out from last year’s tsunami in Japan.) Since, we don’t want to accidentally OD by taking tablets, like some people do. We set out to find the best dietary sources.

Duh! turns out iodized salt is a pretty easy thing to do… thanks Joseph A. Case for your detail-rich article.

And as it turns out seafood is naturally rich in iodine, including; cod, sea bass, haddock and perch. Kelp (one serving of kelp offers 4 times more than a daily minimum requirement) is the most common iodine-rich green source, while dairy products and plants grown in iodine-rich soil can provide a bit of this nutrient  … we digress.

Keep it simple by snacking on it! While those Trader Joe’s seaweed snacks are pretty good – if you can find Seasnax dried seaweed (Whole Foods, some health food stores, online) … these seem to score a bit higher w/ the online health brigade because they use olive oil -not canola oil in the process. And according to their website, on average, 15 micrograms of iodine can be found in a full sheet of nori.

Just not into food from the sea? Here is a chart from The World’s Healthiest Foods on what they consider to be great sources of iodine.

Did we miss your favorite iodine-rich snack or meal? Please share in our comments.

Weekend Skinny Mojito Recipe

Just in time for the summer season our favorite ex-housewife Bethenny Frankel unveiled a skinny mojito recipe that’s just as good as the original but replaces the sugar with honey. Plus—as a drink choice mojitos do double-duty—they are packed with vitamins. A single lime gives you 32 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs and half a cup of mint provides about a third of your Vitamin C needs and 2 grams of fiber.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. gently warmed honey
  • 2 oz. clear rum
  • 4 oz. club soda
  • mint and lime for garnish

Preparation

  1. With a long spoon or a pestle (from your guac-making mortar and pestle collection) muddle 1/2 fresh lime cut into six wedges in a martini shaker.
  2. Add 1 cup ice and 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice.
  3. Combine 1/2 tsp. gently warmed honey, 2 oz. clear rum and 4 oz. club soda. Add this combination to muddled mixture.
  4. Stir all the ingredients together with your long spoon until they get cold. Strain the beverage into a glass filled with ice.
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