Happy National Waffle Day!!! – August 24th (True Belgian Waffles)

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True Belgian Waffles Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.

MAKES: 5 servings

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

3-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 Eggland’s Best Eggs, separated

1-1/2 cups milk

1 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sliced fresh strawberries or syrup

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, lightly beat egg yolks. Add milk, butter and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
  2. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown. Serve with strawberries or syrup. Yield: 10 waffles (about 4-1/2 inches).

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Brain Ninjas – Are you a Positive Person? Find 3 Words you immediately see…

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Credit: Power of Positivity 

The Positive Dog: A Story About the Power of Positivity

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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Train, Eat, Rest & Repeat – Take care of your Knees (Things to know about your Knees)

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Here are five things all runners should know about knees

Runners don’t get arthritis in their knees more often than nonrunners.


Those are the facts. Period. If anything, long-term studies have found that runners have less incidence of knee osteoarthritis. One study that followed runners and nonrunners for 18 years found that, while 20% of the runners developed arthritis during that time, 32% of the nonrunners did. A large study that looked at runners and walkers found that regular runners had roughly half the rate of arthritis as regular walkers. In that second study, the runners with the highest regular mileage had the lowest rate of arthritis

The above is true regardless of your age.


Some medical experts have said that loss of cartilage, including in the knees, is a natural part of aging. But there’s no evidence that running accelerates that loss. In fact, at least one study found that when people who were at risk of developing arthritis began a moderate running program, the health of their cartilage improved, while the cartilage of a group of similar people who didn’t start running didn’t improve.

Supplements won’t re-grow knee cartilage.


Despite ad claims, no dietary supplements have been proven to increase knee cartilage. The most popular such supplement, glucosamine, may help with knee osteoarthritis by protecting the articular cartilage, which, among other roles, helps to lubricate the knee joint. A study that looked at vitamin D supplementation in people who had knee arthritis found that they had the same levels of pain and loss of cartilage after two years as did people with arthritis who didn’t take vitamin D.

Runner’s knee is usually caused by issues elsewhere.


The most common knee injury among runners is runner’s knee. Known clinically as chondromalacia patella or patellafemoral pain syndrome, it’s inflammation of the cartilage under your kneecap. There’s increasing consensus among sports medicine professionals that many people with runner’s knee have a few common biomechanical problems. These include weak hips and glutes, which introduce instability further down the legs; weak quadriceps, which can make it difficult for the kneecap to track properly; and tight hamstrings, which shift some of running’s impact to the knees. A good strengthening program, such as seen in this video, can go a long way to preventing runner’s knee.

There are some simple ways to keep your knees happy.


As noted above, weakness and/or tightness elsewhere in your legs can mean trouble for your knees. So get stronger.

Extra weight places tremendous strain on your knees. The American College of Sports Medicine has said that each additional pound of body mass puts four extra pounds of stress on the knee. Running’s long-term effect on keeping weight lower is thought to be a key reason why, as we saw above, runners might have less incidence of knee arthritis.

Run on level ground to lessen the torque on your knees.

If you have a history of knee pain, including from accidents or other sports, consider switching to more of a forefoot strike. One recent study found that more impact force affects the knees in rearfoot strikers, while forefoot strikers have more impact forces in their ankles.

Credit: Runner’s World

Related:

The Persistent Myth of Running and Arthritis

Inside the Doctor’s Office: Runner’s Knee

Weak Glutes Could Cause Knee Pain in Women Runners

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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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 Motivation Monday – How Bad do you want to Succeed?

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

Indoor-SMores

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

Brain Ninjas – Your brain is a tool so sharpen it with these Attention and Memory games

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Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age

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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