Friday, October 29, 2010

IZZI B CUPCAKES

Check out this segment on IzzyB's Cupcakes. We came across them at a farmers market in Stamford, CT.


Check them out online http://ibcakes.com/

Thursday, October 21, 2010

EAT WATERMELON!

I saw a cute posting today on FitPerez.com and just had to share it.  What caught me wasn't the article, its facts or the health benefits it was pointing out.. NO, what caught me was this uber cute photo of this adorable puppy eating a watermelon.. How could you not melt? LOL maybe it's because I have my own little new puppy at home or maybe it's because I have always been a sucker for adorable puppies, but this photo was just too cute not to share.


In case you are interested the posting said:

Watermelon, aside from being delish can also lower blood pressure!!
Researchers at Florida State University say that watermelon contains the amino acid L-citrulline/L-arginine, which improves arterial function and therefore help lower blood pressure.
The study that was recently done finds that there was improved arterial function and lowered blood pressure in all nine pre-hypertensive adults, four men and five women, who ate watermelon daily for six weeks.
Let’s bring out the watermelon!
fitperez.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Surviving the State Fair Bulge!

This is the time of year for festivals and fairs.  Especially here in Connecticut, we are in the mist of numerous different festivals.  They are a great way to spend time with your family, enjoy a Sunday afternoon or even relax on a weekday night.  There are many different things to do, see, buy and eat. yes, EAT!

Though there are numerous things to do and see while you are there, one of main attractions and biggest profit makers at these events is food.  Now if you have ever been to a fair you know that the food they offer is usually no where near being healthy.  The food is usually high in fat and low in nutrition. Especially when it comes to big festivals and state fairs.  It seems they will throw anything in batter and deep fry it these days. While there are the usual french fries, corn dogs and onions, recently we have seen deep fried Oreos and Twinkies become popular. 

This year however the big sellers were Deep Fried Butter and Deep Fried Beer! Really? Butter isn't fattening enough, you need to coat it in a batter and deep fry it? I can't understand the draw for this, then I remembered we are the most over weight nation living on fast food and processed goods, so why not take the next step to eat straight butter.. I mean deep fried butter! The sad thing is that I read an article about the "inventor" and he only works three weeks a year.

There are even more outlandish things being thrown into the fryer at fairs. While looking into it I discovered there were many foods I didn't know existed. Things like Chicken-Fried Bacon, Fried Avocado Bites, Fried Frog's Legs, Fried Coca-Cola & Fried Ice Cream.

The weirdest fried food I saw was Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick. It's a mash-up of meatball mix and cooked spaghetti. The mixture is formed into balls, dipped in garlic batter, deep-fried, and finished with marinara sauce.

Another big draw at these places is doughnut sandwiches. A cheeseburger in between two Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts is a huge seller, I don't know why because it sounds disgusting, but apparently it has a huge following.  I also recently saw that they have branched out and now offer a chicken breast sandwich as well, for those health conscious patrons I assume. =)

Though there are other options available for food at these events many aren't much healthier. There is also all the sweets that surround you like sundaes, pastries, cotton candy, Cinnamon rolls etc.  Lets be real, most people see going to one of these events as a diet killer.  That's usually how I feel as well, so I took my camera phone with me as my friend and I walked a round a local fair and found healthier options to choose.
  • Check out the ethnic stands.  They usually have a lot of grilled meats and vegetables that aren't coated in heavy sauces.





 
  • My favorite stop at the fair is for steamed corn.  Its fresh and delicious and doesn't need any butter.
  •  Most big fairs will have local vendors selling different fresh fruits depending on the season
  •  If you want something more than a bottle of water choose a healthier option like fresh squeezed lemonade.  They make it fresh and add the ingredients to your liking, which means you can get it with no sugar.



  • Another favorite of mine is the baked potato.  Again its something that you build to your own tastes so you can forgo the bacon bits and cheese.  You can limit the amount of butter as well.

  •  People love putting things on sticks at these events so you can almost always find a kabob or chicken skewer.



  • Finally, It is a fair so I do allow myself a treat or two.  The best sweet treat to get without undoing all the good you accomplished is a simple soft served ice cream cone.  Be even better and get it in a cup!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The 6 Best- and Worst-For-You Fast Foods

I came across this article today on Yahoo! Heath and I wanted to share it with all of you.  I know personally there are times when I need to eat on the run or am looking for a snack that wont throw me off track.  It is very hard to do so in our fast food society but here are a few examples of healthy choices we can try to make.  It is also good to periodically take a look and remember how unhealthy most of the convenient foods out there are.  Is that quick snack really worth 1,000 calories???

Eating at what many consider "healthy" fast food restaurants like Subway won't necessarily keep you as slim as Jared. Cornell University researchers recently stopped 500 diners as they left either Subway or McDonald's, asking them to estimate how many calories were in their meals. The average McDonald's patron guessed 876 calories when the real count was 1,093. By comparison, the typical Subway customer estimated 495 calories when the real count was 677—much higher than her guess!

"There's a big health halo that surrounds everything related to Subway," says Brian Wansink, PhD, lead researcher of the study and author of Mindless Eating. "People feel that they can justify extras like cookies and chips." What's more, when researchers tracked the diners at both fast-food establishments until dinnertime, the Subway group snacked more throughout the day, consuming an extra 112 calories, on average.

That said, there are healthy choices to be made at fast-food restaurants. The key word in that statement is "choices." Think before you order, and remember to say no to value meal deals that add extra items like fries and a drink. Odds are, any fast food add-ons will wind up doubling your calories with little to no extra nutrition.

 
1. FAT-FREE LATTE
At just 130 calories, you can get a dose of caffeine and a serving of healthy fat-free calcium with this afternoon coffee-shop treat. Just be sure to order a small, and if you'd like to add a little sweetness without doubling your calories, ask for a pump or two of sugar-free vanilla syrup.

2. CHILI
A small chili from Wendy's provides 227 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and a whopping 14 grams of protein. This hearty side is high in sodium (830 grams), but it also delivers 10% of a day's worth of iron.

3. LIGHTER FARE
A few chain restaurants have caught on to customers' cravings for lighter selections. For example, Au Bon Pain recently introduced a menu collection called Portions that features 14 dishes containing 200 calories or less, among them brie, fruit, and crackers; and chickpea and tomato salad.

4. BAKED POTATO
Even topped with chives and sour cream, a baked potato from Wendy's clocks in at under 350 calories, with 10 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. (A potato eaten with the skin is a top-notch source of fiber, as well as potassium.) You'll also get 110% of your daily vitamin C requirement, plus 20% of your recommended iron and calcium intakes—making this drive-through side a fairly well-rounded meal.

5. FLATBREAD SANDWICHES
Just because fast food is convenient doesn't mean it has to be oversized, fried, or served on a bun. Quiznos offers six 160- to 240-calorie Sammies, petite flatbread sandwiches like Sonoma Turkey and Bistro Steak Melt. Dunkin' Donuts has come out with Oven-Toasted Flat-bread Sandwiches that are easy to hold and eat for breakfast or lunch. At less than 300 calories and about 6 grams of fat, these light meals are a guilt-free way to eat on the run.

6. GRILLED ITEMS
We're not talking burgers here. Usually, a fast food joint's grilled or roasted options—think turkey, chicken breast, lean ham, and even roast beef—provide fewer calories and less fat, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. Skip the fries and be smart about the toppings (no mayo, more veggies), and you're on the right track.


6 Worst For You Fast Foods

1. ARBY'S ROAST TURKEY & SWISS.
Sure, it sounds healthy. But with those supersize slabs of bread, you get 725 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat, and more than a full day's worth of sodium! If you must, order it without the mayo to make it healthier, and save half of the sandwich for the next day.

2. SUBWAY FOOT-LONG SWEET ONION CHICKEN TERIYAKI SUB
Don't be fooled by the Subway "health halo." This sandwich delivers 9 grams of fat, not to mention nearly 800 calories. On top of that, you'll be getting more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium with your sub. Most adults should consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day.

3. CINNABON CARAMEL PECANBON
At 1,100 calories, 141 grams of carbohydrate, 8 grams of protein, and 56 grams of fat (no, that isn't a typo), this sticky-sweet treat from the food court is more like a dirty and dangerous trick. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of this monster "snack."

4. MCDONALD'S FILET-O-FISH
Usually fish is a healthier choice than a burger, but not in this case. A McDonald's Filet-O-Fish contains 380 calories, which isn't that outrageous—until you consider the 18 grams of saturated fat. To make this sandwich less of an insult to your heart, ask for no mayonnaise or tartar sauce; at about 100 calories per tablespoon, these condiments can add up fast.

5. BURGER KING TENDER-CRISP CHICKEN SANDWICH
The Tendercrisp will fill you up with 800 calories and 46 grams of fat. Add a side and/or a soda to your sandwich, and you'll be getting way more than a full day's allotment of calories and fat in one sitting—without a single respectable serving of veggies or fruit in sight.

6. TACO BELL VOLCANO NACHOS
With a name like "volcano," you can expect the worst. And you won't be disappointed: Weighing in at 1,000 calories, 62 grams of fat, and 1,930 milligrams of sodium, this nacho "snack" has all the makings of a nutritional disaster. Its one redeeming quality is its 16 grams of fiber, a testament to the sheer volume of this volatile side dish.


Studies show that just hours after a person eats a typical fast-food lunch, fat globules start to collect in the blood vessels. It's easy to see why repeated consumption of these unhealthy meals can contribute to heart trouble, diabetes, and obesity. Blame this bad news on an overload of calories, fat, and sodium—the major concerns of a fast-food-heavy diet. All tie in to what may be the biggest (pun intended) problem with fast food: portion sizes.

The film Super Size Me shed light on mega-portions—and not coincidentally, "supersize" options vanished from certain fast-food menus after the film's release. Still, oversized servings are the norm for the fast-food industry. McDonald's has unveiled a 1/3-pound Angus burger, which you can wash down with a 42-ounce beverage called a Hugo. That's roughly the equivalent of 477 calories of cola. Some establishments are being a bit sneakier: What was once a Great Biggie order of fries at Wendy's was reintroduced in 2006 as a large. It's 0.2 ounce smaller, but still in excess of 500 calories.

Best advice: When ordering fast food, choose the smallest size, regardless of its name. Stick with single-patty burgers, or order a kid's size. And be sure to steer clear of these foods if you want to keep your nutrition on track, even at the drive-through

Excerpt from List Maker's Get-Healthy Guide, from the Editors of Prevention, © 2010, Rodale. The List Maker's Get-Healthy Guide: Top To-Do's for a Healthier You!.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ozzy!

Yes! We have a new addition to our family and his name is Ozzy!
He is a Cocker Spaniel puppy and he is about 3 1/2 months old with an amazing multi colored coat.

 
I am so elated and overjoyed already that I can't imagine my life without him.  I was surprised at how fast I fell in love with him and how much he already means to me.  I know now that I will never have a problem with dirty diapers when I have kids.  As I start to potty train Ozzy I am amazed at how little I care about cleaning up his accidents. (Thankfully in the kitchen where there is no carpet to destroy).  He is a wonderful little boy who loves to snuggle and play.  He is already in love with leaves in the yard and will chase anything you drag along the floor.
 For a puppy he is incredibly relaxed and calm but still loves to run around in the yard with me.  He is also very well behaved and doesn't require to be on a leash when outside in our yard, he will literally stay within a foot of you unless you start running then he will follow and stop the minute you do.  I just wanted to fill you all in on my new love! I look forward to sharing more with you and I promise I will try not to think my Ozzy is the bestest doggy in the whole wide world (even though he is) :)


 Thanks for all the well wishes and support!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Beginnings

I am loving my new house! It is so nice having a house instead of an apartment or condo.  I am loving having a yard to mow, a place to plant flowers & the ability to finally get a dog!! It has been quite hectic around here the last few weeks trying to unpack and settle into our new home.  I haven't posted recently and it has upset me that I haven't made the time to update you all.  I have spent the last few weekends puttering around the house trying to fix and organize everything.  Though I am still not fully done, I feel I have gotten the majority of things done.  We held a tag sale two weeks ago to try and get rid of things we no longer needed. Whatever didn't sell we brought over to the goodwill.  It is nice to know that we can help others out just by cleaning out the junk that we no longer use. 

Right now I am in the process of finding a new companion to join us in our home.  Those who know me know I have always wanted a dog, but was unable to have one because they were not allowed at the condo we lived in. Over five years ago I lost my best friend Tempest.  She was a black English Cocker Spaniel who came to us at age eight when she was retired.  Before coming to us Tempest was a champion show dog and breeder.  Her life dramatically changed when she came to live with us.  She went from being a show dog to a much loved family companion.  I loved her so much, she went everywhere with me, I even snuck her into my dorm in college to spend the weekend.  I never wanted to replace Tempest, that is why I didn't go out and get a new dog right away.  When I did move out on my own though I was ready to share my love with another pet. 

Now the time has finally come and I am so excited.  Last week I went and visited a few shelters but didn't find a dog that a felt a connection to.  I don't want to get just any dog, I want to get the right dog!  I do have a bias though, I am looking for a Cocker Spaniel or King Charles Cavalier.  I am going to another shelter this weekend, they are having an event and getting 80 dogs in from the south.  I am hoping to find a new friend there, but if I don't we are headed to a cocker spaniel rescue.  I hope to find a dog that wants us as much as we want them, if we are unsuccessful again this weekend then we will just wait and continue to check the local shelters. I look forward to updating you on this over the weekend!

Tempest!