Monthly Archives: January 2016

Plan Ahead Meals

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How goes it my dears?

Today marks the first day of classes of my second semester at graduate school. Woooo (kind of). Break was awesome, but now it’s time to get back to work.

As I may have mentioned in the past, I’m not really that into “New Years Resolutions”, but I try and set goals whenever the occasion seems to arise to better myself. So far this year, I have two: 1) not to shampoo my hair everyday and 2) plan my weekly meals ahead of time. I’ve been doing smashingly for #1, but since I spent the last month traveling, I haven’t started #2 yet. I figured the start of classes was as good a time as any to start!

To keep up with that mentality, here are two links that a co-worker shared with me… and I plan to utilize it at least a few times. Here is the vegan option, and here is the carnivorous option.

Now, I must get to work; my papers will not read themselves. Cheers!

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Raising the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021 would lift wages for 3.2 million workers

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Raising the New York minimum wage in several steps to $15 would restore its value to a level that ensures full-time work is a means to escape poverty—and would provide more than a third of New York’s workers with a long-overdue improvement in their standard of living.

Source: Raising the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021 would lift wages for 3.2 million workers

You’re Doing It Wrong

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First and foremost, I suggest you Google that phrase (“you’re doing it wrong”). People these days…

Also, for a second I would like to admit that I have gained an appreciation for audio books, while at the same time becoming in love once more with the library (why did I ever stop?!). I work walking distance from my town’s library, so I have now made it a habit to stop by at least once a week and a) check out many, many beautiful books, b) rent movies, and c) gain an appreciation for books on tape. Don’t get me wrong, reading is still superior – when you are actually reading the words on pages, but audio has its place in the world. I spend a lot of time in my beloved car – especially commuting to campus – so audio books are sort of a win-win for me. The time passes much quicker, and I get to have a story read to me! It’s fantastic. So far I’ve listened to a crap ton of Stephen King novels (see my “books” section for a full list). There’s no explanation for the random King binge; it’s just happening and is long overdue.

Now. The point of this post is to share with you all 10 foods that are commonly ingested in the wrong way; hence the title. So pay close attention as this will only be of benefit.

Note: Doing It Wrong is derived from the work of two registered dietitians who addressed the biggest mistakes, which are preventing the public from extracting the most vitamins and minerals from certain foods.

  1. Asparagus. Don’t zap it! Aka cook in the microwave. First of all, microwaves are mildly sketchy to begin with, so avoid them if you can. This method has also been found to deplete this vegetable’s vitamin C content due to being water-soluble. Try steaming or stir-frying instead, and eat when it is tender and crisp and not mushy and soft. Also, save the leftover water! It happens to be rich in vitamins and minerals and can make a great addition to sauce or soup.
  2. Grilled Meat. Apparently, grilling meat at high temperatures over an open flame may increase cancer risk; but honestly, what doesn’t these days? The worst method of meat cooking seems to be char-grilling, so maybe stick to a less intense heated grille. They also recommend you use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat instead of relying on looks.
  3. Tomatoes. In order to maximize the absorption of lycopene (a phyronutrient in these bad boys that is supposedly cancer and heart disease fighting), it’s best to cook them. This will also increase their antioxidant content. Honestly, though, I like ’em raw.
  4. Flaxseeds. These puppies are high in fiber, rich in lignans and heart-healthy omega-3s, BUT you only reap these benefits if they are ground! You’re body can’t digest them otherwise. They sell them pre-ground, but it’s also easy to do it yourself.
  5. Black Tea. Don’t add milk; just don’t do it. First of all, it taints the flavor (*gasp*), but more importantly, milk – or any dairy – has been shown to negate any cardiovascular benefits; the protein in milk binds to the catechins in tea, making it much harder for your body to absorb this beneficial compound.
  6. Broccoli. Try not to boil or fry them (but really, who fries broccoli?), because much like asparagus, these methods will not keep the Vitamin C, chlorophyll, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic components intact. Instead, go for the steam method.
  7. Strawberries. Try not to slice them; or at least avoid cutting them for as long as you possibly can… nutrients within these tasty morsels such as Vitamin C are sensitive to light and oxygen and deplete rather quickly. Frozen fruits and veggies are not a horrible idea, too, since they harbor the majority of their original nutrients.
  8. Garlic. I LOVE garlic; I love it in my food, in my juices, and just overall in my life. The allicin (cancer fighter) in garlic benefits from air exposure, so try letting chopped garlic sit out for a few minutes before utilizing. This makes sure the compound can become fully activated.
  9. Whole Grains & Beans. Soak ’em overnight to help release the phytates, increase absorption of nutrients such as iron and zinc while also giving your digestive tract a break.
  10. Yogurt. Honestly, I wish I liked yogurt, and I’ve really tried to get myself to love it; I just can’t. At least not yet. Anyway: don’t dump the watery substance you often find atop your Greek yogurt – stir it in! It is called whey, and it contains protein and vitamin B12, along with minerals like calcium and phosphorus. *Fact* You’re not going to get yogurt’s probiotic benefits if you’re cooking a heated dish, because live and active cultures can’t stand up to heat and become destroyed in the cooking process.

There you have it, ladies and gents. I’m off to rest and read a little bit before an event tonight down in Tucson, Arizona. 😀

 

 

Hot Peppah Jelly

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Bonjour Babies –

Fact: I love hot pepper jelly. I first came to know about this delicious dip/spread a few years ago when my friend’s mom sent him a few jars of her homemade jelly. From that point on I was hooked; a little sweet, a little spicy is the combination for me!

When I shopped at the URI Holiday Bazaar this season, there was a local company – Terry’s Tasty Treasures – where this powerhouse woman makes a variety of different delicious jellies. I bought a few different flavors, and they all kick ass. I also snagged a hot pepper jelly recipe card, which is what I’m going to share with you meow (more can also be found on her website via link):

Pepper Jelly Cheese Cake
Ingredients: 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces hot pepper jelly

Directions: Mix all ingredients in food processor.
Spray individual pie pan or 6″ spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray or 4″ spring forms divided into 2.
Pour mixture into pan(s).
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
Cool in refrigerator for several hours.
Spread with more pepper jelly. Serve with crackers.

Red Pepper Habanero Pepper Jelly Chicken over Kale
– Red hot habenero pepper jelly mixed with soy sauce, honey, pour over boneless skinless chicken thighs- bake 425 for 25-30 min, serve over kale sautéed with chopped bacon and shao Shing rice vinegar

Mini Philo Shells with Goat Cheese
Fill Shells with Cranberry, Apple or Peach hot pepper jelly. Crumble Goat cheese over each and top with a candied walnut.

Crescent Roll Bake with Brie
Spread out the Crescent Rolls on a baking sheet; do not pull apart.
Put piece of Brie in the center; cover with your pepper Jelly of choice.
Fold over the crescent rolls and bake according to the instructions on the package. Serve with crackers

I’ll stop there, but there really are many more recipes on the website, so click the link and take a gander. Go local, lovelies.