Happy International Bacon Day!!! – Virgin Chocolate Chunk Brownies With Maple & Benton Bacon

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Virgin Chocolate Chunk Brownies With Maple & Benton Bacon

Ingredients:

Serves: 9-12

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Directions:

  1. Preparation
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F Line an 8-inch (20cm) square baking pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Whisk in the COR olive oil and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl using high speed of an electric mixer for 5 minutes. Beat in the syrup and salt, then fold in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the BRM flour, then gently stir in the bacon. Pour into the prepared pan.

        5. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Mine became aromatic at 20 minutes and at 25 minutes, they had a shiny, dry, slightly crackly top. Let cool completely. Cut into squares.

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Keep an Eye Out – Foods for Healthier Eyes

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Perceiving the world in colors, shapes, and movement is a gift most take for granted. Until the day one’s vision begins to cloud over, lose clarity, or fade away completely, such an incredible sense is easily relied upon… and therefore is devastating when lost.

But developing cataracts, macular degeneration, dryness of the eyes, or any other eye concerns isn’t inevitable. Poor diet and less than optimal lifestyle choices contribute to the rapidly increasing diseases of the modern age, loss of eyesight being one of them.

And it is now clear that by adopting a healthier regimen and eating a plethora of nutrient-rich foods, healing of the eyes is possible. In fact, some of the most beneficial foods for support healthy eyesight follow. Bursting with enzymes, minerals, and nutrients, they are nature’s perfect offerings that can help regenerate the body and heal the eyes.

Along with removing processed, refined, and chemically-treated foods from your diet, consuming more of these foods will likely assist you in attaining better eye health in no time!

BILBERRIES

This fruit contains compounds which boost visual acuity and improve vision. In Italy, a study found that a mixture of these compounds called anthyocyanides, along with Vitamin E stopped the progression of cataract formation in over 95% of study subjects experiencing early-stage progression of this disease. But its secrets are not only now becoming known: British pilots back in World War 1 knew they were incredibly beneficial for the eyes, and consumed bilberries before flying. Tasty fruits with similar compounds that improve vision include blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, grape, raspberry, and wild cherry.

CARROTS

One normally associates carrots with improved vision, but likely doesn’t know the range of benefits they offer. The carotenoids in carrots (which give it its distinct color) help prevent cataracts, prevent cancer, and reduce one’s risk of developing cardiovascular ailments. Other great sources of carotenoids include leafy greens, and fruits and vegetables that are orange, yellow, or red in color.

ONIONS

Being an excellent source of quercetin, a compound research has linked to prevention of cataracts in diabetics, onions are an extremely beneficial food to consume to heal the eyes. However, as most of the quercetin is found in the skin, it may be optimal to cook this portion of the onion as well when preparing meals.

PURSLANE

The world’s richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids, purslane boasts a bounty of health benefits essential for supporting clear eyesight. It is rich in carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and many antioxidants (including glutathione), which are all necessary for keeping the eyes healthy.

GLUTATHIONE

This compound is actually found in high concentrations in the lens of the eye, where it plays an important role in keeping it healthy. Glutathione functions as an antioxidant, maintains the structure of the lens proteins, plays a role in various enzyme systems, and can also take part in the transport of amino acids and minerals.

However, modern-day ways of living have created a lack of this essential compound. As stated by optometrist and licensed acupuncturist, Marc Grossman, OD, “The majority of the cataracts I see are low in the antioxidant glutathione.”
Thankfully it’s easy to get more: This powerful compound is found abundantly in raw fruits and vegetables, therefore eating more living foods will help it be restored.

TURMERIC

This anti-inflammatory root contains a large amount of carotenoids and vitamin C. It also shares carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and anti-oxidants.

BRAZIL NUTS

Brazil nuts are rich in vitamin E and selenium – both nutrients which help to prevent and inhibit cataracts.

SPINACH

Popeye was onto something! Spinach offers a bounty of lutein, which is known to help promote healthy vision and prevent other diseases of the eyes. This green is also rich in carotenoids and helps protect against cancer.

Diverting from natural law – eating wholesome, unprocessed food, getting plenty of rest, being outdoors, enjoying your life – results in a plethora of health issues. Thankfully nature offers many beneficial foods (and opportunities) to remedy diseases of affluence and heal.

If you seek to better your eyesight while safeguarding your future health, take action today by making more conscious dietary and lifestyle choices.

Credit: True Activist

Happy National Peach Pie Day!!! August 24th (Georgia Peach Pie)

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Georgia Peach Pie

CRUST

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (4 ounces) cold solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice water

FILLING

  1. 8 large, ripe but firm peaches (3 1/2 pounds)
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  6. Egg wash made with 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  7. Bourbon Whipped Cream, for serving

Directions:

  • In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle the ice water on top. Stir with a fork until a crumbly dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until the dough comes together. Cut the dough in half and form into 2 disks; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk of dough to a 12-inch round. Ease one of the rounds into a 9-inch glass pie plate and transfer the other round to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a sharp knife, mark a shallow X in the bottom of each peach. Blanch the peaches in the boiling water for about 1 minute, until the skins begin to loosen. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to the ice water to cool. Drain and peel the peaches and cut them into 3/4-inch wedges. Transfer the peaches to a large bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice and flour, toss well and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the peaches and their juices into the chilled pie shell and scatter the butter slices on top. Brush the edge of the pie shell with the egg wash and lay the round of dough from the baking sheet on top. Press the edges of the pie shell together to seal and trim the overhang to a 1/2 inch. Fold the edge of the pie dough under itself and crimp decoratively. Brush the remaining egg wash on the top crust and cut a few slits for venting steam.
  • Transfer the pie to the oven and place a baking sheet in the bottom to catch any drips. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°, cover the edge of the pie with foil and bake for about 40 minutes longer, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deeply golden on the top and bottom. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool completely. Serve with Bourbon Whipped Cream.

MAKE AHEAD The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month. The peach pie can be stored overnight at room temperature. NOTES As an alternative to the Bourbon Whipped Cream, serve the pie with vanilla ice cream.

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Fix Ya Grille!!! – Home Remedies For Yellow Teeth

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Baking Soda 

Baking soda is one of the most effective remedy for yellow teeth. Mix some baking soda in a glass of warm water. Use it as a mouth wash, rinse your mouth with this thrice a day. This will lead to sparkling teeth.

Strawberries 

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which helps to make your teeth whiter. Make a paste by grinding few strawberries, gently rub your teeth using this paste. Do this twice a day for 2 weeks, this will surely helps and vanishes the yellow tinge on your teeth.

Lemon 

Lemon has a good bleaching property which can be used to get rid of the yellow teeth. Take the juice out of lemon and add one teaspoon of salt to it then gargle your mouth with this. Scrubbing your teeth with lemon peel is also one of the best ways to make your teeth whiter.

Holy Basil 

Holy Basil have whitening properties, it also treats gum problems like pyorrhea. Take out few basil leaves and keep them in the sun for few hours, once the leaves become dry, grind them and make it as a powder. Use this as tooth powder or else you can make it as a paste by adding mustard oil in it.

Orange Peel 

Rub your teeth with orange peel before going to bed and then in the morning rinse your teeth with water. The calcium and vitamin C present in the orange peel will combat with microorganisms. This makes your teeth whiter and stronger.

Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen Peroxide has mild bleaching property, this helps to reduce the yellow staining from your teeth. Use this as a mouth wash, Gargle with hydrogen peroxide. While gargling make sure not to swallow the hydrogen peroxide.

Banana Peel 

Rub your teeth with ripe banana peel for 5 minutes, as it is rich in potassium helps to make your teeth whiter. Do this twice a day.

Charcoal 

Earlier times people used charcoal to clean the teeth. Charcoal has a crystal based chemical which helps to make your teeth whiter. Mix some charcoal in the toothpaste to get rid of the yellow stains.

Credit: Health Digezt

Happy National Rum Day!!! – August 16 (Cable Car Cocktail)

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Cable Car Cocktail

The Cable Car is an excellent rum drink which was created by Tony Abou-Ganim, the “Modern Mixologist.” It involves Captain Morgan spiced rum and orange curacao, of which the original recipe calls for Marie Bizard.

Also, in Abou-Ganim’s recipe is a fresh lemon sour which is made by mixing 1 part simple syrup with 2 parts fresh lemon juice. A prepared sour mix will work, but his suggestion is strongly preferred.

The name Cable Car was inspired by the tracks near the Starlight Room in San Fransisco where he first created with cocktail.

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Rim a chilled cocktail glass with sugar.
  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into the prepared glass.
  5. Garnish with an orange peel spiral.

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Happy National Filet Mignon Day!!! – August 13

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Filet Mignon with Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 6 ea. 6 oz. Filet Mignons, thawed
  • 3/4 lb. firm, fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 9 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream, heated
  • 6 slices French bread
  • 6 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup scotch

Directions

  1. Remove filets from package and set aside.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp. butter in large saute pan, over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add flour, blend well.
  4. Stir in warmed cream, reduce heat to keep warm. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. In a separate pan, heat 2 Tbsp. of oil on medium high heat.
  6. Sauté the filets for 2-1/2 minutes per side for rare, 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.
  7. Meanwhile in a separate pan, heat 6 Tbsp. butter over medium high heat. Add the bread slices, turning often until golden brown.
  8. Place one bread slice on each serving plate.
  9. Top each bread slice with a cooked filet.
  10. Add the scotch to filet pan juices and boil 1-2 minutes.
  11. Add mushroom sauce to pan with scotch and bring to a boil. Spoon sauce over filets and serve.

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Need a Pick me Up? Ways to get you back into the Game when you’re feeling Down

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Make a list.   

Sometimes we are depressed simply because we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do that we haven’t gotten around to doing. You might be into GTD, but sometimes every GTDer falls behind with his system, and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do so. So all the “stuff” that’s in our head can overwhelm us. Start simply by picking up a piece of paper and a pen, and making a list of the most pressing things you have to do. Sometimes it’s work stuff, sometimes it’s stuff around the house that’s bothering us, sometimes it’s goal tasks, or a combination of these and more. Simply making a list can be a big relief — you’re getting things under control. You can see, right in front of you, what you need to do, and that alone can pick up your mood.

Take action.

You’ve made a list, and you still feel overwhelmed? Well, get started on the first thing you need to do. Is it a big task? Break it down and just do the smallest task, something just to get you started. Once you get started, once you get into action, you’ll feel better. Trust me. You might still feel overwhelmed, but at least you’re doing something. And once you start doing something, you’ve got momentum, and that feels much better than lying around feeling sorry for yourself.

Exercise.   

I know, you might not be in the mood for exercise. But just do it! Taking a walk, going for a run, going to the gym, whatever it is you do for exercise — get out and do it now! You don’t need to do a real hard workout, but the simple act of exercise can lift your mood immediately. Just do it!

Shower and groom yourself.  

 Laying around in your underwear, smelling bad, is not going to do you any good. Simply showering, and feeling clean, can do wonders for your mood. Brush your teeth, comb your hair, shave, do whatever it is that you need to do to feel clean and good about yourself. Instant pick me up!

Get out of the house and do something.    

Sometimes, if you stay home lying around, feeling depressed, just getting out (after showering and grooming) will change your mood. Staying home all the time can really get you down, and you may not realize this until you go out and do something. Preferably something on your list (see No. 1).

Play some lively music.  

 I like Brown Eyed Girl, the Kinks, the Ramones, or an upbeat Beatles tune, but you might have your own brand of feel-good music. Whatever it is, crank it up, and let yourself move to the beat. It may just be what the doctor ordered.

Talk about it.  

Got a significant other, best friend, family member, co-worker you can talk to? Bend their ear. That’s what they’re their for. If you don’t, there are hotlines, or professionals, you can talk to. And then there’s always online forums. These are great places to find someone to talk to. Getting things off your chest makes a big difference, and can be a huge lift. It can also help you work out the reasons you’re feeling down.

Credit: Zen Habits

Train, Eat, Rest, & Repeat – Ways to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories

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1. Replace Your Grain-Based Breakfast With Eggs

Losing weight can be as simple as changing your breakfast. Two separate studies have shown that eating eggs in the morning (compared to a breakfast of bagels) can help you lose fat without trying.

Put simply, the eggs were so fulfilling that the women automatically ate fewer calories at subsequent meals.

2. Using Smaller Plates Can Trick Your Brain Into Thinking That You’re Actually Eating More

The human brain is the most complex object in the universe, gram for gram. It tends to work in mysterious ways… and the control of eating behavior is incredibly complicated. It is the brain that ultimately determines whether we should or should not eat. Interestingly, there is one neat thing you can do to “trick” your brain into thinking that it has eaten more food.

This is using smaller plates.

3. Eating More Protein Can Reduce Appetite, Increase Fat Burning and Help You Gain Muscle

There is a lot of evidence that protein can increase fat burning and reduce hunger, leading to automatic weight loss. In fact, studies show that protein boosts metabolism more than any other macronutrient. One of the reasons for that is that it takes the body more calories to digest and make use of protein, than it does fat and carbs.

Protein also increases satiety, leading to significantly reduced hunger. In one study, increasing protein to 30% of calories lead to an automatic decrease in calorie intake of 441 calories per day. Many studies show that increasing your protein intake can lead to automatic weight loss, even when eating until fullness.

Protein can also help you gain more muscle, especially if you also lift weights. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning that it burns a small amount of calories, even at rest .The best way to get in more protein is to eat more animal foods like meat, fish and eggs… preferably at every meal.

4. Eating Foods With a Low Energy Density and Lots of Fiber Make You Feel More Full With Fewer Calories 

Another way to feel more satisfied with fewer calories is to eat foods that have a low energy density. This includes foods that have a high water content, such as vegetables and some fruits. Studies consistently show that dieters who eat less energy dense foods lose more weight than those who eat foods with a high energy density.

In one study, women who ate soup (low energy density) lost 50% more weight than women who ate an energy dense snack. Vegetables are also rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to cause weight loss in some studies.

Another benefit of soluble fiber is that it gets broken down by bacteria in the digestive tract to produce a fatty acid called butyrate, which is believed to have significant anti-obesity effects… at least in rats. Combining animals (high in protein) with a bunch of plants (low energy density) is a recipe for success.

5. Cutting Carbs Can Make You Lose Weight Fast While Eating Until Fullness

Probably THE best way to start losing weight without calorie counting or portion control is to reduce your carbohydrate intake. Studies consistently show that people who eat less carbohydrates, automatically start to eat less calories and lose weight without any major effort. The best way to cut carbs is to reduce or eliminate major carb sources from your diet like sugars, sweets, sodas, as well as starchy foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, etc. 

6. Making Time For Quality Sleep and Avoiding Stress Can Optimize The Function of Key Hormones 

Two things that often get ignored when discussing health (and weight) are sleep and stress levels. Both are incredibly important for the optimal function of your body and hormones. Inadequate sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity… short sleep duration raising the risk by 89% in children and 55% in adults. Poor sleep can increase hunger and cravings and cause a biochemical tendency for weight gain by disrupting hunger hormones like ghrelin and leptin.

Excess stress can increase your levels of the hormone cortisol, which is known to increase belly fat accumulation and the risk of chronic, Western diseases. For these reasons, it is very important to make time for quality sleep, as well as avoiding unnecessary stressors in your life.

Credit: Authority Nutrition 

Happy National S’mores Day – August 10 “You’re Killing me Smalls”

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“Graham crackers with melted marshmallows and chocolate. Prepared over an open flame, this camping favorite is great for the holidays, too. Not recommended for the stove top.”

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 1 serving

  • 
1 large marshmallow
  • 
1 graham cracker
  • 
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy bar

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Directions

  1. Heat the marshmallow over an open flame until it begins to brown and melt.
  2. Break the graham cracker in half. Sandwich the chocolate between the cracker and the hot marshmallow. Allow the marshmallow to cool a moment before eating.

The Sandlot

Train, Eat, Rest, Repeat…Food that Boost you Brain Power

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Here are seven foods you should add to your regular diet if you want to keep firing on all cylinders. These foods may not make you smarter, but they’ll help you stay sharp and think clearly–especially when you’ve been glued to your desk for 12 hours.

  1. Salmon. This is one of the best brain foods out there. Salmon is rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids that have been shown to enhance memory and cognition. Plus, Omega 3s have anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Shoot for three servings of wild Alaskan salmon a week.
  2. Flax. This plant-based source of Omega 3 is perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Not only does flax improve brain function, but it helps reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Flax also helps lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar, making it a great supplement to include in any diet. Sprinkle a tablespoon of ground flax seeds to oatmeal or add a tablespoon of flax oil to smoothies or salad dressings.
  3. Blueberries. These berries contain flavonoids–antioxidants that have been shown to help improve your ability to learn and enhance motor skills. Flavonoids also help prevent degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Add a cup to your morning oatmeal or to a smoothie. Or simply keep them on hand for a quick and healthy afternoon snack.
  4. Nuts and seeds. This perfect afternoon snack is a good source of both Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which improve brain function. Plus, nuts contain vitamin E, which has been shown to help protect the brain from free-radical damage. Walnuts are best for brainpower. Cashews and sunflower seeds contain an amino acid that helps boost serotonin levels and alleviate stress.
  5. Eggs. Eggs are a great source of choline, a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps you concentrate and recall information. Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s have depleted amounts of this important neurotransmitter.
  6. Dark green leafy vegetables. Kale, chard, spinach, and other dark green vegetables contain B-vitamins, including folic acid, which help shield your brain from the effects of aging. These veggies are also loaded in antioxidants that help protect against heart disease and cancer. Eat dark greens daily in salads or as a side dish.
  7. Chocolate. This treat is rich in flavanol antioxidants that increase blood flow to the brain, helping to protect brain cells. But the percentage of cacao is important–the darker the chocolate, the better. Enjoy a small square of dark chocolate after lunch for an afternoon boost.

Credit: Health Digezt

Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory