Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fruit Flies Bothering You?

Yesterday Cyndi asked me on Facebook:  Do you have any ideas how to get rid of gnats in the kitchen from fruit?

I thought I had something on my website about it, but it was not there! So here are a couple of home remedies for you try:

The most popular home remedy is the vinegar bottle trap. Fill a bottle almost till the top with vinegar and close it. Poke several holes inside the cap and place it at a strategic corner or a place where you think the gnats are breeding. Gnats are attracted to the smell of vinegar; they will climb into the bottle through the holes but won’t be able to climb out. This method is very effective and you can place many such traps in the house.

Here's a second idea: In a bowl, mix some vinegar with a little bit of dish soap. The vinegar will attract the gnats and they will climb into the bowl. The dish soap will cease friction and even if the gnats try to wriggle out, they will keep slipping inside.


Gramps favorite fruit is a pear. I learned a bit about pears this week:

Pears are one of the few fruits that are actually much better when picked before they are ripe. Mature pears that are picked while still green ripen slowly—starches convert to sugars and the texture turns from dry and gritty to juicy and smooth. If you need pears for a specific occasion, it’s best to plan ahead several days.

Buy firm pears at the store and place them in a paper bag. Putting a banana or an apple in the bag will speed up the process.

Pears ripen from the inside out, so as soon as the stem end has a slight give to it when pressed, the fruit is ripe.

Refrigerate ripe pears to slow further ripening; they will stay good for 2 or 3 days.
Interesting tidbit: Pears are less allergenic than many other fruits—so pear juice is sometimes used as the first juice introduced to infants.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Potato Power

The potato’s reputation as a high-carb, white starch has removed it from the meals of many who are trying to lose weight.

Did you know that potatoes are actually very healthful and can fit into even the
most calorie-conscious eating plan? A medium-size potato with skin contains only about 100 calories. They are not only fat and cholesterol-free but are also rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamin C and potassium.

The key is to choose toppings carefully. Top with low-fat, low-calorie options such as salsa, chopped veggies, herbs, beans, nonfat sour cream or low-fat shredded cheese.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grades of Meat

Don’t be fooled by supermarket brand names like Butcher’s Brand, Rancher’s Reserve, and Blue Ribbon. The label to look for is USDA Quality Grade. Prime is the best (and most expensive), followed by Choice, select, then Standard.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Avocado--very healthy!

The healthy fats buried in the avocado’s flesh make it an ideal choice when you’re craving something rich and creamy.

The reasons? Monounsaturated (healthy) fatty acids, and potassium--both of which help combat high blood pressure. Avocado fat is 66 percent monounsaturated, and gram-for-gram, the green fruit has about 35 percent more potassium than a banana. Whip up a fresh guacamole or slice a few slivers over toast and top with fresh ground pepper.

If you are looking for other smart sources of potassium, try squash, papaya, spinach, bananas, or lentils.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Did you know that cabbage is great for losing weight?

One cup of cooked cabbage contains only 33 calories while supplying you with a wealth of health-promoting nutrients.

Like its other cruciferous cousins, broccoli, kale and mustard greens, cabbage is not only an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, but also contains many unique sulfur-containing phytonutrients, such as indole-3-carbinole (I3C) and sulforaphane. I3C and sulforaphane help activate and stabilize the body's antioxidant and detoxification mechanisms. Other sulfur compounds, which are produced as a result of cutting, chewing or digesting cabbage, increase the liver's ability to produce enzymes that neutralize potentially toxic substances.

Cabbage is easily available, inexpensive, and easy to prepare.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pumpkin Seeds Anyone?

Pumpkin seeds are loaded with stress-busting potential thanks to high levels of magnesium.

Only about 30 percent of us meet our daily magnesium requirements, placing the rest of us at a higher risk for stress symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, tension, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness and high blood pressure. A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds gives you half your day’s magnesium requirements.

Other smart sources of magnesium: Spinach, Swiss chard, black beans, soybeans, and salmon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Healthy Burger Alternative

Did you know that a veggie burger can have as much as 82 percent less total fat and 75 percent less saturated fat than a hamburger made with lean ground beef? Generally, most frozen veggie burger varieties sold in the supermarket have about 100-120 calories, 2-4 grams of total fat, 10-14 grams of protein, up to 4 grams of dietary fiber and zero to 1 gram of saturated fat. Turkey burgers made with ground turkey breast and salmon burgers are also great options. Top with sliced onions, tomatoes, greens, and mustard for a healthier alternative to the traditional beef burger!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Baking Powder? Baking Soda?

Baking powder and baking soda are two very different things.

Actually, baking powder is made of baking soda, a base, and an acid, usually cream of tartar. Baking soda only reacts and produces carbon dioxide when it is mixed with an acidic ingredient, like chocolate, yogurt, buttermilk, or vinegar. Baking powder produces carbon dioxide when mixed with water.

And there are two kinds of baking powder. Single-acting baking powder reacts just with liquid. You must get the dough or batter into the oven quickly with this type of baking powder, because it starts to lose its leavening power quickly. Double acting baking powder reacts with liquid and also with the heat of the oven. Using this product gives you more leeway in the kitchen.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Easy Exercise Reminders

Are you trying to change a lifestyle or exercise behavior? If so,
sticky notes may help. Try leaving brief reminders on your car's
steering wheel, on the fridge, in your day planner, on the bathroom
mirror, and even in your desk drawer or closet. Make them positive
messages of encouragement and self-direction. These reminders are like
having your own personal wellness coach!