Microwave Cooking Broccoli: Best for Flavor & Health Benefits – In Pictures & Short Video

Microwave Cooked BroccoliAside from its fantastic flavor – quick & easy preparation makes all the difference – broccoli has uniquely potent anti-inflammatory, heart health-promoting, cancer-fighting, body detoxification, and antioxidant properties. To get the most of both flavor and health benefits, it’s best to cook broccoli either by steaming it briefly or cooking it quickly in the microwave oven. You can see how to cook broccoli in the microwave oven (my preferred method for speed, ease, and best flavor & nutrition) by clicking either or both short step-by-step video or easy-to-follow step-by-step picture book recipe links.

Microwave Cooked Broccoli Ingredients & PIcture Book Recipe Read more »

Listening to the “Get a New Bed!” Scream From My Back

Back & Bed Title Shot Chronic lower muscular back pain has been a part of me since I took a knee-buckling zap in my back raking leaves in the backyard almost 20 years ago. Since then, I think I’ve managed the pain pretty well despite quite a few intense flare-ups every year that, for a few days at least, require me to throw clothing for my lower body on the floor first to have them snagged with my feet and then maneuvered where they belong by rolling gingerly on my back and using a combination of gravity and some ridiculous looking anti-gymnastics. If you’ve had or have back pain, you know the deal.

Two days ago, after many months of steadily ramped up “regular” pain and a good dose of “get a new bed” personal advice, I woke up with a painful lower back stab and knew I had to make a change –  now!

First thing I did – after a tortured session of less intense stretching than I normally do – was to go online to research “best beds for bad backs”. The first article I read from WebMD described my situation dead-on perfectly. Read more »

Fresh Fruit vs. Dried Fruit Nutritional Value

Fresh vs. Dried Fruit An extraordinarily friendly woman I check out with almost everytime I take a run through BJ’s Wholesale Club in Northborough, MA, noticed a bag of mixed dried fruit along with containers of fresh fruit in my shopping cart and asked, “What’s better for you, dried or fresh fruit? I’ve tried looking it up online, but I can’t find a good answer.”

Bottom line: fresh fruit is by far better for the following three reasons:

  • vitamin and nutrient content in dried fruit is diminished through the fruit drying process, more so when that fruit is dried more aggressively commercially instead of more gently dried at home either in the oven or in a food drier
  • ounce for ounce, dried fruit contains more sugar and calories than fresh fruit (that makes sense as most of the weight in fresh fruit is water, and that water is removed through rapid evaporation when the fruit is dried leaving only the fruit flesh behind)
  • though fresh fruit may not be free of chemicals due to pesticide use depending how that fruit is grown, fresh fruit does not contain preservatives the way some fresh fruits do to enhance color and shelf life

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Instant Nonfat Yogurt Salad Dressing Picture Book Recipe

Instant Nonfat Yogurt Salad DressingLast post showed how to make an easy to make, fully flavorful instant salad dressing using only 5 ingredients: garlic powder, mustard, ground black pepper, vinegar, and oil. Here’s an easy variation on that dressing that changes only one ingredient by substituting oil with plain nonfat yogurt. (See the nonfat plain Greek yogurt to oil nutrition fact label comparison below and note that a serving of nonfat plain Greek yogurt is 1 cup (8 ounces) while a serving of oil is 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce). That means that 1 cup (8 ounces) of oil contains 1920 calories and 224 grams of fat as compared to the cup (8 ounces) of nonfat yogurt shown below containing 130 calories and 0 grams of fat. Though any nonfat plain yogurt will work to make this dressing, I like using nonfat plain Greek yogurt for this dressing for its high protein content, thick texture, and rich flavor.)

Nonfat Yogurt - Oil Nutrition Label Comparison

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Instant 5-Ingredient Salad Dressing Picture Book Recipe

Instant Salad DressingHere’s a quick, easy, and fantastically flavorful salad dressing that requires only 5 ingredients (garlic powder, black pepper, mustard, vinegar, and oil), a teaspoon, and a 16-ounce jar with a snug fitting lid (if you don’t have a jar, you can use a measuring cup instead). The small amount of salt and sugar in this recipe comes from mustard (and vinegar, if you use balsamic vinegar as shown below), which therefore makes the dressing low in both sodium and sugar, though please check the ingredients you use to make sure they comply safely if you happen to be on a sodium and/or sugar restricted diet.

Needed to Make Instant Salad Dressing Read more »

Easy to Make Apple Pumpkin Pie – All in Pictures


Apple Pumpking PieLast post showed how to make a richly flavorful, nutty textured nut, quinoa, and flaxseed pie crust. Here’s how to make a pie using that crust – or any favorite crust you like – that fuses the terrifically robust flavors of apple pie and pumpkin pie (that even fully qualifies as a vegan dessert).

Here are the ingredients needed to make an apple pumpkin pie.

Apple Pumpking Pie Ingredients Read more »

How to Make a Hearty Nut, Quinoa & Flaxseed Pie Crust – All in Pictures

Nut, Quinoa & Flaxseed Pie CrustWant a pie crust that stands on its own with full-on hearty flavor and nutty texture? Then try this very easy to make nut, quinoa, and flaxseed pie crust.

Here are the ingredients you need.

Nut, Quinoa & Flaxseed Pie Crust Ingredients Read more »

Warm Apple & Papaya Fruit Topping – All in Pictures

Warm Apple & Papaya Fruit ToppingThis fresh and very quickly cooked apple and papaya fruit topping goes great either warm right out of the pan or chilled on hot or cold cereal, waffles, pancakes, French toast, yogurt, or ice cream.

But what if apples or papaya aren’t available – or you don’t like either of them? No problem. Instead of apple, you can use pear or any other fruit, though the picture book instructions you can get here for this recipe showing how to prepare apples for cooking apply identically to pears. You can also substitute papaya with pineapple, mango, or even banana, or really any other fresh fruit that’s available that you like. As always, imagination and taste are your only limits.

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Banana Flax Pancakes – Fully Flavorful, Easy to Make & All in Pictures

Banana Flax PancakesThe hardest part of making these full-on flavorful banana flax pancakes – and it’s not that hard to do at all – is flipping them in the pan because there is no fat or oil added to the batter. I, therefore, recommend using a sturdy spatula like the metal-bladed spatula shown here as well as…

Sturdy Spatula

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How to Recognize and Change Our Strong Emotional Connection to Food

Emotional Connection to Eating - Orlando Heath Article

Followed a link from Stonehearth Newsletters to the recent and very informative Orlando Health article (I recommend you see by clicking any picture on this page) about our powerfully strong emotional connection to food and how that affects both why we eat and our body weight.

Bottom line: our emotional connection to food is established early in life and is reinforced as we grow. We’re either rewarded or reward ourselves for doing something well or comforted when we’re hurt, tired, or upset with flavorful, and usually not so nutritionally sound, foods at times that don’t necessarily correspond with our body’s need for energy-sustaining nourishment. That emotional connection is so strong that it stays with us throughout our lives unless or until we first become aware of that connection and then use that awareness to develop strategies to change our behavior.

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