Mama’s Italian Meatballs!

Is Butter a Carb?

Hello again, friends! I hope everyone enjoyed their extended holiday weekend, we certainly did! Tikki got a surprise visit from his Nana & Poppa, it completely made his day. He always gets so excited when people visit, especially when Nana & Poppa visit.

Anyway, let’s talk about meatballs, since that’s what we’re making today.  When I make meatballs (and all Italian food really) it floods my mind with memories of my grandmother cooking and her teaching me how to cook. It also brings up memories of her cussing me out in Sicilian for tasting the food too often, I mean can you blame me? That shit was delicious!

She was, and still is, such an inspiration to me.  So, this post is for her. Let’s get rolling….

Ingredients: 

1 lb ground pork

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup of milk (low carbers, you can use beef stock here instead of…

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One-Pan Dinner: Salmon, Green Beans & Potatoes

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There are a lot of things I love about spring – flowers, thunderstorms, open windows and… veggies being in season! I love eating green beans raw, and springtime is when they get really good – especially here in Wisconsin. They are on my short list to plant in our garden this year, so I can’t wait to try this recipe again with homegrown beans!

We’re always looking for healthy, easy meals to make during the week and if you love beans and salmon, this is something that I would recommend trying!

What You Need

This recipe was for just Casey and myself – using only one pan, and it was the perfect amount of food + leftover veggies! You could make more, but you’d obviously need more than one pan, which would defeat the purpose. 😉

  • 2 Salmon filets (mine were marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, crushed basil and…

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Sicilian-style Salmon with Garlic Mushrooms & Poached Broccoli

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AMCARMEN'S KITCHEN

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already the last day of March, meaning quarter of the year has just zoomed past in the blink of an eye! I felt like the first part of March went by really quickly for me, and the rest of the month just dragged on slowly to be honest. Maybe it was just because I spent the final week of my travels to New Zealand and Australia in the first week of March and the second week pouting about my post-vacation depression, and then of course dragging myself out of bed and to the office through the rest of March. I sound so pessimistic in this post in comparison to Wednesday’s post when I was all motivational and whatnot. Haha! I don’t mean to be pessimistic, I’m just stating the obvious lack of adventure in my life the moment I arrived back from my…

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Core core core (Ab Workouts)

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Evolution Gym Talk

The strength of any tree is in its trunk. Your strength comes from your core so make sure you build in some core strengthening to your daily routine.

Training with good form and taking strength from your core will work over time but some specifics will make a difference quicker.

Also take time for your back-” – between the two they are the things standing you up straight every day.

Some ideas from other sites below


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How to Grill A Perfect Steak

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Recounts, Reflections, and Other Writings

It’s March, which means multiple things. March Madness is about to begin (finally), spring break is on the horizon, and the weather is warming up. Or… staying warm since we never had a real winter this year. With warmer weather comes the inspiration to be outside with nature, and what better way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors than caking your hands in the remnants of charcoal and coating your being with the scent of smoke?

Grilling is an art and takes more than just practice to perfect. There are multiple steps that don’t even include the meat. If you want the most tender, most flavorful steak, the majority of your time will be in preparation and not in actually having the meat on the grill.

What you will need:

  • Anywhere from 2-3 hours
  • A charcoal grill
  • Woodchips (recommended, not required)
  • A bowl or plastic container
  • Gallon-sized freezer bag
  • Olive oil
  • Steak seasoning…

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List of common Chemicals that are making you Fat & Depressed

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Be Like Water

foods-that-will-make-you-depressed

We’ve all heard that if we eat too many calories, we’ll get fat. But there’s more to it: it’s not just the calories, but the chemicals, in our food that contribute to obesity.

Some of these chemicals — called “obesogens” — trigger our bodies to store fat even though we might be restricting calories. The effects are complex: some of these chemicals increase the number of fat cells, others expand the size of fat cells and still others influence appetite, cravings, fullness and how well the body burns calories. In addition to obesogens, other synthetic food ingredients have been shown to help us pack on the pounds and leave us feeling depressed, even when when we think we’re eating healthy.

To stop feeling that way, here are the top five chemicals to avoid in food.

  1. Growth Hormones & Antibiotics

Several drugs, growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics are routinely…

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Brain Hacks to instantly improve your Memory!!!

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Having a sharp memory is important for a lot of reasons. Not only should it improve your professional life, but going to dinner parties and remembering everyone’s name is downright impressive. If you think you have been cursed with a terrible memory, I have good news for you: that’s not true. Anyone can improve their memory by following this simple advice. Learning how to remember things is vital. Many intelligent people have a hard time remembering things simply because they’re not attempting to recover the information (or store it) properly. Just follow these tips, you’ll see an improvement.

1.)   Use the “snooze button:” To remember random information like an address or phone number, instead of repeating it to yourself, just rehearse it every 15 seconds or so for a few minutes. Don’t wait longer than that or else the memory will decay.

2.)  The peg system: This may seem like a bizarre method to recall information, but he human body peg system works. What you do is imagine parts of the human body itself and use them as “pegs” to store information. You visualize an image of what you are trying to remember and associate it with a corresponding body part.

3.)   Just sincerely FOCUS: Many people listen to music or have the television on while they study, but this actually significantly impairs the ability to memorize information. You can’t actually multi-task, you just jump in between tasks. So, to memorize information, just focus and limit other stimuli.

4.)   Linking: If you link items together in a list (even if they are unrelated), it’s easier to remember them. A common way to link items together on a list is with a short story, where you incorporate every item.

5.)   The keyword method: This is a useful trick when you need to memorize vocabulary when learning a foreign language. To use it, take a sound that you recognize from the new word, visualize that sound and then relate it to the new word you are learning.

6.)    The method of Loci: This is also known as the Journey Method and the Roman Room Method. This old memory technique uses a “memory palace” or house. You mentally walk through an area where you have stored information. By walking through different rooms or areas, you can remember the information you stored in those rooms.

7.)   Use the chunking method: According to research, you can hold about five to nine (seven on average) items in your working memory at one time. However, we can remember things like a phone number (10 digits-long) by chunking the information into groups. Therefore, that 10 digit phone number is only really three pieces of information.

8.)   Setting the information: There is a phenomenon called context-dependent memory, where you can give yourself clues for remembering things based on the sensory input you are experiencing at the time of the memory. Researchers found that when test participants learned something underwater, they could recall the information better when underwater again.

9.)   Using music to enhance memory: You shouldn’t distract yourself with music if you’re trying to remember something. Instead, putting long strings of text TO music (like lyrics) is an effective way to remember something. Think of all of the songs you learned in grade school to remember facts; that’s this mnemonic at work.

10.)   Smell enhances memory: Smell is one of the most powerful memory recall devices possible. This sense memory is exceptionally strong because the nose is able to go directly to your memory center. If you were studying for a test and wearing a certain perfume, if you wore the same perfume during the test you may perform better.

Credit: viralnova.com

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Happy National Sandwich Day!!! – What’s your favorite type of Sandwich?

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National Sandwich Day is observed annually on November 3. The sandwich is believed to be the namesake of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, following the claim that he was the inventor of the sandwich.

While the modern sandwich is believed to be named after John Montagu,  the exact circumstances of it’s invention and original use are the subject of debate.  There is a rumor in a contemporary travel book titled Tour to London, by Pierre Jean Grosley, that formed the popular myth that bread and meat sustained Lord Sandwich at the gambling table.  It is said that Lord Sandwich was a very conversant gambler and did not take the time to have a meal during his long hours playing at the card table.  When hungry, he would ask his servants to bring him slices of meat between two slices of bread.  This practice was a habit which was well known to his gambling friends who soon began to order “the same as Sandwich”, and from this, the sandwich was born.

N.A.M. Rodger, who wrote Sandwich’s biography, suggests that because of Sandwich’s commitment to the navy, politics and the arts the first sandwich was more likely to have been consumed at his work desk.

Before being known as sandwiches, the food seems to simply have been known as bread and meat or bread and cheese.

Credit: National Calendar Day

Eat more Oatmeal!!! – The many benefits of eating Oatmeal

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Helps control weight.

Let’s face it, we could all use some help at times, but did you ever think oatmeal could help control your weight? It’s true! According to a research study published in the October 2009 issue of “Molecular Nutrition & Food Research” a compound in oatmeal known as β-glucan reduces appetite by increasing the hunger-fighting hormone cholecystokinin.

Reduces blood pressure.

We all know that heart disease is a major problem in North America and throughout the world. One studypublished in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet which includes plenty of whole-grains (such as oats or wholemeal bread) is just as effective as taking anti-hypertensive medication to lower blood pressure!

Reduces cholesterol.

Have you ever heard of soluble fiber? Well, compared to other grains, oats actually have the highest portion of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps your intestinal tract trap substances associated with blood cholesterol.  Studies show that people with high blood cholesterol who eat just 3 g of soluble fiber per day can reduce their total cholesterol by 8% to 23% (remember that one cup of oats yields 4 g)!

Lowers risk of colon cancer.

Cancer of the colon is horrible and can be very painful. One study, pooled by researchers in Britain and the Netherlands, published evidence that there was a link between people who ate a high fiber diet (mainly from whole grains and cereals like oats) to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. This study also covered nearly 2 million people and specifically found that for every additional 10 grams of fiber in someone’s diet, there is a 10% reduction in their risk of developing colorectal cancer!

Stabilizes blood sugar.

What does this mean? We have all experienced a “sugar crash”/ “mid morning slump” after a big meal or sugary breakfast; well, with oatmeal, this doesn’t happen as much. As a result of oatmeal’s high soluble fiber content, its sugar is released more slowly into the blood stream (aka, it has a low glycemic index). It’s important to note that steel cut oats will have more of an effect on stabilizing your blood sugar than instant oats, because they are less processed and thus have more soluble fiber. Another added bonus, is because it takes longer to digest, you will feel full longer

Athletic performance.

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned how beneficial oatmeal was in giving me energy before my swimming practices while on the National Team for my town. Oatmeal, is a great carbohydrate and protein source, providing calories and energy for energy needs. Oats have been shown in scientific studies to favorably alter metabolism and enhance performance when ingested 45 minutes to 1 hour before exercise of moderate intensity.

Helps you sleep.

Our society has ingrained in us that oatmeal is a breakfast food, although it is also a wise choice before bedtime. In fact, the Scottish recommend a bowl of oatmeal in the evening to get you feeling nice and sleepy.

Why is oatmeal good before bed? Well, oats actually contain melatonin and complex carbohydrates that can help more tryptophan get into the brain and help you sleep, according to Dr.Oz. Furthermore, oatmeal contains many vitamins, including B6, which is a co-factor that also aids in the production of more serotonin in the brain.

Credit: Life Hack

Survival of the Fittest: How the Color of your room affects your Mood?

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Be Like Water

The colors of the rooms within your home need to bring out your personality. While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about room color, it affects every day of our lives. Room color can influence our mood and our thoughts. Colors affect people in many ways, depending upon one’s age, gender, ethnic background or local climate. Certain colors or groups of colors tend to get a similar reaction from most people – the overall difference being in the shade or tones used. So when it comes to decorating, it is important to choose wisely.

In order to have a beautiful home, you do not have to worry about trends. Color trends will come and go. The people who live in a home make it beautiful by choosing colors that reflect their likes and their personalities. The trick is to blend those colors you…

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