Thursday, October 11, 2007

Healthy Cookies

I am a glutton for cookies. When I walk into a shopping mall and smell the irrestible aroma of the Famous Amos® Chocolate Chip Cookies, I have to fight very hard the temptation to get some. However, I do not know what they put in their cookies. Trans fat? Highly processed white flour? But here is good news from San Francisco Cookies. According to the descriptions on their site, they use whole grains, heart healthy oats, organic dairy, and loaded with chocolate.

What is so great about that? I have another blog Food as medicine where I write about various health stuff such as benefits of whole grains, oats lower bad cholesterol and chocalate for cardiovascular health. This article also talks about the benefits of organic food. I hope these articles can convince you of the importance of using food to keep healthy, for as they say, health is wealth, and there is nothing more precious than good health.

At San Francisco Cookies, you can find all kinds of cookies including Chocolate Chip Cookies and not only enjoy the pleasure of chocolate, but derive some health benefits from it as well. That is what they call killing two birds with a single stone, but I wish the word "killing" have never ended up in that famous saying, as it has nothing to do with killing and death, but life and health.

Running a business or a consulting firm and have customers or clients you want to show appreciation for? Get Corporate Gifts nicely gift wrapped which will help them remember your company for a long time. And keep them healthy so they can live long and continue to provide business to you for a long time.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Acid Reflux Recipes

Acid Reflux Recipes

By Anna Hart

When acid reflux becomes a regular part of life, the sufferer is commonly advised to change his or her diet. Try to avoid citrus, Try to avoid acids. See if changes make it better. So you try. You experiment. And all the time, you're wishing there were acid reflux cure recipes.

You finally go looking for such, and you find that there are cookbooks that focus on eating to avoid acid reflux. The trouble is that neither you nor your doctor can say for sure that your current diet is the problem. You hate to put out money for an acid reflux cookbook only to learn that your acid reflux stems from another cause. You'd like to find someone that inserts one little word in the phrase acid reflux cure recipes.

Acid reflux FREE cure recipes!

If you could just find acid reflux free cure recipes, you would try them. If it turned out that they did help, you wouldn't mind investing in one or two good acid reflux recipe cookbooks.

The author can't take space here to give you a collection of acid reflux free cure recipes, but let me contribute to your search.

Acid Reflux Free Cure Recipes

Acid reflux free cure recipes have three things in common.

1. They eliminate or reduce portions of those foods that are typically difficult to digest.

2. They include or increase portions of those foods that are known to aid in digestion.

3. They are FREE!

Orange juice, for example, is acidic. Many people claim that it increases acid reflux. So replace breakfast orange juice with a ripe banana, which is easy to digest. Or opt for an apple.

Brownies and donuts are considered foods to be avoided by acid reflux sufferers. They tend to sit, undigested, in the stomach. Choose an easily digested dessert such as a fat free cookie or jelly beans.

Acid Reflux Recipe Ideas

Here are a handful of ideas for acid reflux recipes.

1. Waldorf salad, made with ripe, healthy apples, nuts, and raisins, is a good acid reflux cure recipe. Use any traditional Waldorf salad recipe, but substitute low-fat mayonnaise and sour cream. You will have a great-tasting salad that contains no recognized acid reflux trigger foods.

2. Beef stew is another great acid reflux cure recipe. Use any beef stew recipe you like, omitting the onions. Cut the fat from the beef. If the stew seems to trigger acid reflux, eat a smaller portion next time.

3. Gingerbread is a marvelous dessert for acid reflux sufferers. Find a recipe that uses canned pumpkin and wheat germ. Make it with unsweetened applesauce and low-fat buttermilk. Then resist the temptation to mound whipped cream on top of it! Try a low-fat imitation whip instead.

4. Roast turkey breast is a good main course. Cranberries should be fine with it. Serve the potato baked instead of mashed.

5. Lowly meatloaf is thought to have no specific acid reflux triggers.

6. Spaghetti may cause acid reflux in some. You can reduce the possibilities by beginning with acid-free tomato sauce. Omit garlic and onion from your sauce, and try using more basil and less oregano. There are a number of Italian spices that are great in spaghetti sauce. Try fennel with basil.

7. Cheesecake, too, can be an acid reflux cure recipe. Make it with reduced fat or no-fat cheeses. Use egg whites and/or egg substitute.

While trying your acid reflux free cure recipes, learn what the actual cause of acid reflux is. You may be surprised to know that it is a muscular problem. There may be things you can do other than alter your diet.

CAUTION: The information presented here is for educational purposes only. If you have ongoing acid reflux problems, please see your physician for advice.

About the Author: © 2007, Anna herself lives with a husband who used to suffer heartburn frequently, and she empathizes with your problem. She invites you to read more of her articles about heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD at Anna continues to research and post regular information on that site. If you would like to use bananas for relief from acid reflux, you will want to read what Anna says about them.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Inside scoop on the tastiest "big name" wines

Looking for access to Napa's biggest names and undiscovered wines? You should try Porthos, the Wine Insiders. They have a team to taste over 5,000 wines per year and only the best of the best are featured in their site. At Porthos, the Wine Insiders, you have access to the tastiest “big name” wines such as Silver Oak, Duckhorn, etc. Get “insider access” to undiscovered, boutique wines before the critics and collector crowd discover them.

At Porthos, the Wine Insiders, you will have access to their Monthly Insider Wine Clubs which include the Favorites Club where you have sensational undiscovered treasures and highly rated crowd-plesers, the Premium Club where you have rare reserve wines and highly-rated selections, and the Collector Club where an exclusive collection of California's most highly-rated, ultra-premium wines. And if you register and join as member, you get special pricing. If you are looking for Napa Cabernets, a good place to look is Napa Carbenets.

It is believed that moderate wine consumption is associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer among men. According to Wilhelm Vetter, M.D., and colleagues of the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, alcohol, when consumed around mealtime, reduces the proliferation of smooth muscle cells within the arteries. smooth muscle cells growth is a key element in the development of atherosclerosis, which commonly leads to heart attacks and strokes. So get your favorite wines, enjoy it and be comforted that along with the enjoyment comes some health benefits.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wine Tastings for Singles

Wine Tastings for Singles
by: Jennifer Marie Jordan

Dating, for those of us who are tired of being single, can be a royal pain. From speed dating to online dating, from the taverns to the grocery stores, we have several outlets where we can meet potential matches. But, unfortunately, these matches often extinguish before they can light even the slightest spark, leaving those of us frustrated to long for the days of arranged marriages: someone just marry me and give my parents a llama.

My own personal experiences have led me to meet dates a variety of ways. I’ve been set up by friends, I’ve been set up by computers, I’ve gone to functions for singles, and, of course, I’ve met many a’people at the bars. But, it wasn’t until recently that I found a dating medium I truly enjoyed: wine tasting for singles.

Wine tasting for singles had a lot of similarities to a regular wine tasting event. A sommelier presented three red wines and three white wines, conveying the regions where the wines were from and their general flavors. Each wine was tasted one at a time, appetizers were served, and people dared each other to take a sip out of the spit bucket. The main difference between a wine tasting for singles and a regular wine tasting is simple: no wedding rings allowed.

Why a Wine Tasting?

Now, for those of you who are in the dating scene, the lack of wedding rings at wine tastings for singles might not be enough persuasion: you may be posing the question of what makes a wine tasting superior to meeting people through other means. Well, I’m glad you asked. To begin, at a wine tasting for singles, as opposed to going to the bars or hoping to meet someone in the Laundromat, you automatically have the advantage of knowing three things: everyone there is single, everyone there is looking, and, most importantly, everyone there enjoys wine. Having these three things in common arms you with the ability to approach that cute stranger, bat your eyes, point to his Pinot Noir and ask, “Are you going to finish that?”

Is it Better than Online Dating?

A wine tasting for singles is much more realistic than meeting people online, otherwise known as spouse shopping. This is because online people can easily pretend to be anyone: the old can pretend to be young, the short can pretend to be tall, the men can pretend to be women and vice versa. Along these lines, because the majority of communication is nonverbal, meeting someone in person at a wine tasting allows you to gauge certain things that you wouldn’t be able to see over email. From the tone of a person’s voice, to the way they carry themselves, to the way they sip their wine, body language is a major element in discovering what a person is truly like.

Is it Better than Blind Dating?

Mingling at a wine tasting for singles, where the room is filled with a variety of women and a variety of men, allows for less pressure than the one on one situation of blind dating. In one on one situations, people often get nervous, sweating, stuttering, accidentally revealing that they live in their mom’s basement with six cats. In a wine tasting, however, people are free to mingle in groups, removing the one on one pressure and allowing a wingman or wingwoman to be standing by, ready to swoop in at the first mention of something like the latest Star Trek convention.

Is it Better than Speed Dating?

Many people in the dating scene have probably been on several dates that they wished were speed dates, having had their fill within the first five minutes. However, this isn’t always the best concept: people aren’t always themselves in the first five minutes, some people need a second chance to make a first impression. In speed dating, people are only allowed to talk to each other for a set amount of time, usually only a few minutes. It’s hard to tell anything important about someone in a few minutes, it takes at least twenty minutes before you can feel secure inquiring about your date’s annual salary. At a wine tasting event, conversely, you are free to talk with someone for as long as you choose, whether it’s three hours or just a few minutes that felt like three hours.

Will you Meet your True Love?

Like all avenues of dating, a wine tasting for singles can not guarantee success: you may meet someone you really like or you may find no commonalities with anyone in attendance. But, because wine tastings allow for lengthy, in-person interaction, they automatically give you better dating opportunities than other avenues of dating. And, even if you don’t meet the love of your life, a wine tasting can almost assure that you will find a bottle of Merlot with which you can live happily ever after.

About The Author

Jennifer Jordan is the senior editor at With a vast knowledge of wine etiquette, she writes articles on everything from how to hold a glass of wine to how to hold your hair back after too many glasses. Ultimately, she writes her articles with the intention that readers will remember wine is fun and each glass of anything fun should always be savored.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Healthy Cooking

Healthy Cooking
by: Izzy Morgan

Healthy cooking or healthy eating doesn't mean denial. Changes that we implement towards a healthier lifestyle will impact our health, the way we feel and perhaps extend our life.

Cooking is a personal experience and we can implement different methods for the same meal. For example, if we want to make mashed potatoes, we could boil the potatoes, or we could steam them, we could peel the skin, buy instant mixes, etc. The choices we make will modify and transform the quality and the nutritional value of the food you put on your table. So here are a few tips that you can easily implement in your kitchen.

Healthy Cooking

For a healthier lifestyle, you may want change what you cook as well as how you cook. Depending on the method you choose, you may be depleting the nutrients out of your food. You could be preparing a meal with the right nutritious ingredients but after you are done cooking, you may end up with a dish that has no nutritional value.

When heat is applied, many vitamins and minerals are burnt away. The higher the temperature and the longer you cook it, the fewer nutrients you will have in your meal. It is important then not to overcook your meals, try to cook your meals in the shortest time possible and with the minimum amount of water possible. However, dry cooking methods such as roasting and baking are perhaps the worst method, as they require a longer cooking time. Microwaving, frying, boiling and sautéing are some of the methods that you need to consider before you cook. Steaming and stir-frying are better choices, as they will allow the natural nutrition to remain in your food.

It is also important to consider the oxidation that occurs in vegetables once they are cut, as oxidation will neutralize the vitamins. For this reason, try not to cut or chop your vegetables way ahead of time.


You may also want to think about the seasonings that you add to your foods when cooking.

Consider adding unrefined sea salt to your meals instead of the commonly available commercial table salt, which is a highly refined product containing 99.5% sodium chloride with almost no trace minerals left. Unrefined sea salt taste wonderful and depending on the method of processing, it contains 0.5 to 3% trace minerals in addition to sodium chloride and small quantities of other elements found naturally in the ocean. You also need to remember that too much salt can cause hypertension, excessive fluid retention and other complications. You could also add a lot of spices and herbs instead if you need to add more taste to your meals. Try adding fresh lemon juice or lime juice to add a little extra taste.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). It is used to enhance flavor and some people are extremely sensitive to it. It is believed to cause headaches, muscle tightening.

Baking powders that contain aluminum.

Cooking utensils

Quality cookware and utensils that do not interact with food are also important to consider. Natural materials such as earthenware, ceramic, glass and metals such as stainless steel, cast-iron or enamel coated steel are recommended. Avoid aluminum, plastic, Teflon and other synthetic materials. Nonstick cookware such as Teflon will emit toxic fumes when heated to a high temperature. Inhaling these toxic fumes can lead to respiratory disease, weakening of the immune system, cancer, depression, asthma and other health problems.

More Things to Consider

Choose quality vegetable oils. Avoid hydrogenated oils and fats, refined margarines and oils, animal oils and fats and shortenings. Hydrogenated oils are manufactured oils. Studies have found that they attack the arteries with a risk of heart disease, the kidneys, liver, spleen, intestine and gallbladder.

Avoid Aspartame. MSG and Aspartame are both considered excitotoxins. Studies have found that Aspartame is the cause for many medical problems, such as headaches, hyperactivity in children, seizure disorders and memory loss. Both Aspartame and MSG and other similar substances cause harm to the brain and nervous system.

Try using less white flour and introduce more fiber by adding bran and soy flour and wheat germ to your bread recipes.

Avoid white processed sugar. The living vitality is not there. Organically grown unprocessed living sugar can be found at health food stores.

Avoid artificial sweeteners, they are manufactured chemicals. Use raw organic honey, fresh organic fruit juices or organic raw evaporated sugarcane juice.

Balance your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables versus frozen or canned. Choose 100% organic fresh produce that is free from chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Have a salad every day. Make your own salad dressing. Here is the one I make for my daily salads. In the food processor chop garlic, ginger, onion, jalapeño pepper and parsley. Add fresh squeezed lime juice (from 4 or 5 limes) or lemon juice, extra virgin oil, and unrefined sea salt, that's it, and it is delicious. You could also add honey for a little extra flavor. As far as the amount for each ingredient, I would say, 5 cloves of garlic, a 1/2" piece of ginger, 1/2 onion, 1 jalapeño pepper, a handful of parsley and 4-5 limes. Add oil and salt to taste. Yields about a pint.

Storing foods depletes their vitamin and mineral content. So remember not to keep leftovers in the fridge for more than a couple of days. Instead, try freezing your leftovers right away, as soon as your food has cooled.

And last but not least, cook with a light heart and avoid meals prepared by people who are sick, angry or they have an unhappy attitude when cooking.

About The Author

Izzy Morgan offers Health Articles on Nutrition and other health topics at her website For Health Tips

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Enjoy A Cold Glass of White Wine In the Sun Without The Red Cheeks!.. No More Wine Allergies

Enjoy A Cold Glass of White Wine In the Sun Without The Red Cheeks!.. No More Wine Allergies
by: Lucy Ross

The Red face, The itchy Skin, The almost hangover like symptoms coming on while you are still drinking, headaches, sneezing, irritation! Sound like you... or someone you know? Unlike Santa Clause... a flushed faces at a dinner party, or picnic is not so appealing, when it comes to drinking wine, some people are allergic... but you can still have your wine and drink it too!

So What Causes the Irritation

Well the Majority of people have a reaction to white wine, this is due to the high levels of sulphides within white wine, ( or Preservative 220) this can cause a number of side effects, as mentioned above. One of the sure fire ways to combat feeling under the weather when drinking is firstly, not to over indulge, and secondly to keep your fluids up, And i mean water not more wine, simply by having a glass of wine between drinks, you help your body to keep its fluids up, and may reduce that dehydrated, hungover feeling.

How Sever Are Wine Allergies

Well wine allergies can have a range of reactions, depending on the severity of allergy a person has. Sulphur dioxide has had minor reactions, and in its pure form, deadly reactions, but you can avoid high levels of it when drinking wine.

For the average person reactions such as, flushing, wheezing, nausea, headaches, stomach pain, congestion, There are a few ways to combat certain symptoms, some may result in drinking certain types of wine, and some just thinking about what you drink.

Well it is known that high levels of sulfur dioxide can cause asthma attacks, and tightness of the chest and even anaphylactic shock, these is in extreme cases thou, but for those with sensitivity even minor exposure can cause some nasty side affects.

Allergies and Treatments

Look out for wines with a higher sulphur level, this is wines found in casks, and sweet white wine. So What is left to drink you ask, well red wine, sparkling wine, and dry white wines like chardonnay, they have lower amounts of these additives in them, you will also find organic wines have lower sulphur dioxide levels.

When it comes to a Blushing face when drinking wine, things get a bit trickier

When you drink your body produces a number of chemicals, a lot of allergic people lack a chemical called alledalsehyde dehydroenase, which counter acts alcohols presents in the body, and for those people this means symptoms such as drowsiness nausea asthma and facial flushing. There is not really a lot that can be done against this, other then building up an immunity over time, this way symptoms will lessen as your body learns to cope with wine.

The Red Wine Head Ache

If you suffer from head aches when it comes to red wine, you may find the tannins in the red wine are triggering histamine production, the majority of people have no problem with histamine, but it can cause some to suffer from sever headaches.

So how can you counter act the infamous wine head ache your ask, well some suggest popping an aspirin an hour before drinking. And if that does not work, you can try drinking softer reds... and if all else fails try less reactive wines such as champagne and method traditionale sparkling.

So get those wine allergies under control, one you identify what it is in wines that irritates you, then you can drink, and feel good, and avoid those nasty side effects.

About The Author
Lucy Ross Is Webmaster from ABC of World Food and Wine. She knows how important it is to get the right wine, and wine related products, and suffers from allergies her self!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Organic Wine: Reprieve for the Allergic

Organic Wine: Reprieve for the Allergic
by: Jennifer Marie Jordan

When I was a kid, I developed an allergy to peanut butter, something I loved to eat by the spoonful. While others ate it, mixing clumps with strawberry jam and putting it between two slices of bread, I stood by drooling; then, with a sense of defeat, I went to stick my head in my Easy Bake Oven. To me, there was nothing worse than being five years old and having a peanut allergy; it‘s the equivalent to having a wine allergy when you’re over 21.

Lucky for me, I’m not allergic to wine. I’ve self-tested with hundreds of bottles and I can confidently declare that I would definitely know by now. Definitely.. But, many others aren’t that lucky; some people have wine allergies, an allergy that hinders their ability to savor one of life‘s greatest pleasures.. This allergy leaves people with an empty wine glass, an empty wine cellar, and a unyielding impulse to look up to the sky and scream, “Make me allergic to diary, make me allergic to cats, make me allergic to my siblings, but please don’t take away my Cabernet.”

While no one wants a wine allergy, those who have one are forced to take it seriously. This is particularly true if they are allergic to sulfites, compounds often used as a means to preserve wine by helping it to avoid oxidation and spoilage. Unfortunately for those with allergies, sulfites are added to a vast majority of wines. Because of this, checking the label doesn’t just become a matter of hoping to find the best tasting wine, it also become a matter between being well and being ill.

When someone who is allergic to sulfites drinks wine containing this compound, they run the risk of experiencing an allergic reaction - an allergic reaction to wine makes a wine hang over look like a walk in the park. Some people may experience sneezing, or hives, while others may have difficulty breathing and need emergency medical attention. Sulfites can also cause anaphylaxis, the most severe of allergic reactions.. During this kind of reaction, a person’s blood pressure dangerously drops and their bronchial tubes narrow, making it increasingly harder for them to breathe.. If left untreated, this can lead to death in a matter of minutes. For these reasons, many people with sulfite allergies avoid wine altogether: not even the greatest wine in the world is worth compromising health.

However, luckily for those affected by sulfites, organic wine has come to the rescue, wearing a red cape and giving those allergic to regular wine a second chance.

Organic wine doesn’t necessarily mean “sulfite free,” a tidbit of information extremely important to those sensitive to even the most minute levels of sulfites. In fact, wines are rarely sulfite-free; sulfites occur naturally in wine. However, conventional wines go above and beyond the naturally occurring sulfites, adding many more sulfites to their finished product. Organic wine, on the other hand, tend to believe that the naturally occurring sulfites are enough - they don’t want to compound the situation.

The true definition of organic wine depends on where the wine is produced. For wines produced in America, the National Organic Program, the federal agency overseeing the production of organic food, has mandated that any wine claiming to be “organic” must not contain any added sulfites. Wines merely claiming to be made with “organic grapes,” however, aren’t subject to these regulation.. Along these lines, wines that are produced outside the US are governed under their own regulations: these wines generally have added sulfites, but the amount is roughly a third of the amount found in conventional wine. Thus, for those with sulfite allergies, it’s important to read the label very carefully.

Drinking organic wine isn’t just limited to those with sulfite allergies - it’s not a secret club people are allowed into by submitting their medical records.. Many people simply find organic wines better tasting, healthier, and good for the environment.

Organic wine is composed of grapes that are grown in an organic vineyard with organic farming techniques. Essentially, this means that the grapes were grown in a manner void of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides and full of natural fertilizers.. These vineyards also contain cover crops between their vines and work to attract beneficial insects, insects that will feed on harmful pests. Though no scientific provides credence, there is strong speculation that drinking organic wine instead of conventional wine decreases the chance of a hang over. This has led many people down an organic path, a path paved with the healthiest of soil.

Though not widely available, organic wine has recently begun to gain in popularity. Sommeliers are finally beginning to get the hint as bottles of organic Pinot Noir approach, tapping their fingers and impatiently saying, “Ahem.” Still, organic wine remains harder to find than conventional wine - many restaurants do not serve it and some liquor stores have either no collection or one that is minimal.. But, rest assured, there are places to find it, and soon they’ll be more..

Online is a great place to start, booming with shops that will ship organic wine to your house. Organic food stores - such as Whole Foods - have also jumped on the organic band wagon, obviously needing a ride from drinking too much. Along these lines, there are certain liquor stores that do carry a large selection of Organic wines.. To find one in your area, try calling around, doing an Internet search, or going to

It might take a little research, but you’ll be rewarded once you are cradling that bottle of organic wine in your hands with a straw in your mouth. Then, it will all be worth it…naturally.

About The Author

Jennifer Jordan is the senior editor at Savor Each Glass. With a vast knowledge of wine etiquette, she writes articles on everything from how to hold a glass of wine to how to hold your hair back after too many glasses. Ultimately, she writes her articles with the intention that readers will remember wine is fun and each glass of anything fun should always be savored.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Preparing Your Barbecue For The Summer Season

Preparing Your Barbecue For The Summer Season
by: Grant Taylor

One of the greatest pleasures of the long summer days is standing over a scalding barbecue grill in your backyard blackening a row of your favorite sausages.

When daylight saving starts, barbecues across the country will be wakened from their winter hibernation and prepared for the summer season. That is the time to do a few routine checks and preparations which will keep your barbecue operating safely for the season.

Cleaning the inside of your barbecue

The first step to annual barbecue maintenance is cleaning. It has to be done!

The secret to cleaning your barbecue is to do it every time you use it, but don't go over the top - a coat of natural food oils on the cast iron parts protects them from rust. Eventually those oils, fats and burnt-on food will build up excessively and need to be removed.

Warm barbecues are easier to clean than cold ones, so start it up for a short time first then turn it off and disconnect the gas before dismantling the entire barbecue to wash all the parts one by one.

The grills can be spread out on some newspaper and scraped clean with a grill scraper which is normally specially shaped to fit around the grill bars.

Alternately, grab a grill stone. These man-made stone blocks are soft enough to grind to the shape of the grill as you use them, removing grease and burnt-on food as you go. This is a great tool as it customises to your grill shape.

Spray on some cooking oil before scrubbing the grill clean with warm water and soap mixed with white vinegar to remove any residue. Once dry, spray on a little more oil and spread it with a paper towel or cloth. Make sure that the soap mixture is well cleaned off.

If you have ceramic flame-tamers or cooking grids these should be cleaned with soapy water and a brass wire barbecue brush. Soak in the soapy water for an hour first.

The outer casing

If your barbecue has a stainless-steel outer casing and trolley, then all it will need is cleaning. Harsh cleaners and abrasives shouldn't be used on stainless-steel as they will scratch it - the soapy water and vinegar mix is all that is needed. After cleaning the outer casing, it can be buffed with cleaning oil, or even a little baby oil. The oil will remove watermarks and fingerprints and will also make it easier to clean next time.

If you have a casing and hood that is vitreous enamel you may have to use an oven cleaner type product (preferably non-toxic) to remove the baked on grease. Depending upon the state of the grease you may have to do this several times and then the grease can be removed with scourers and cloths. You should also wash the complete casing thoroughly.

De-rusting and re-oiling

If your grills and burners are cast iron, they may have corroded over winter. Scrape off any flaked rust and then give the surface a good scour with a wire brush, wash all the parts and then spray with cooking oil before they rust up again.

If the outer casing is developing rust spots, these should be rubbed back with steel wool and treated with rust converter before retouching with heat-resistant paint.

Timber barbecue trolleys can be kept in good order by re-oiling them once a year. Give the trolley a light sanding then use outdoor furniture oil or a specially formulated barbecue trolley oil. This will not only soak through oil stains on the top of your trolley but help protect against new ones.

Renew volcanic heating rocks each year as they become clogged with grease and oil. Empty the old sand from the drip tray, clean the tray and give it a spray of vegetable oil before lining it with aluminium foil. Place new washed sand on top of the foil.

Keep it working (and safe)

Gas taps can become stiff over winter, causing plastic controls to break. Remove the plastic knobs and spray the mechanisms with a lubricant like WD-40 to free them up. Apply a drop of sewing machine oil to each tap and then cover them with Vaseline to keep the oil in.

If one or more of your burners doesn't seem to generate a flame then it may be because a gas jet has become clogged.

If you lift the burner out of the barbecue you will see the small brass jets - these are like a small covered nut with a tiny hole through them. They can be simply removed with a small spanner. If you can't clear the blockage, buy new ones from a barbecue shop.

Reconnect the gas and check all the connections by coating them with a mix of 50/50 dishwashing liquid and water. If gas is leaking you will detect bubbles forming in the mixture. Try tightening the connections or replacing the seals.

Follow these simple hints and tips and your barbecue will last for years.

About The Author

Grant Taylor has a website Inbuilt Barbecues devoted to all the latest barbecue information.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Recipes -- Healthy Snacks

Recipes -- Healthy Snacks
by: Vicki Churchill

In today's hectic life style it probably feels like there is no time for healthy eating, or you simply can not find recipes that are both healthy and quick to make. As a result it is tempting to reach for the quick and easy snacks such as potato chips or candy.

Do you ever run out of healthy recipes for snacks, or find them to time consuming?

Snacking is a major part of our lives, especially when it comes to kids. This article looks at why healthy snacks are important for all the family and will provide you with some straightforward and interesting recipes.

Foods with natural colours are on the whole good for you, like red apples, yellow bananas or orange carrots. Possibly the most important thing to remember is variety, a balanced diet will keep you healthy and fit as well as feeling good.

First of all I am going to give you some snacking tips.

Always make your snacks interesting

A rice cake is better than a packet of potato chips but is probably considered boring, so why not spread peanut butter and raisins on the top, or find some quick recipes for a salsa.

Prepare snacks in advance When you have some time chop up carrots, celery sticks, cucumber portions and other vegetables, place them in a sealed container in the fridge so as soon as you feel like snacking you can reach for the healthier option

Keep snacks with you To save yourself getting caught out needing a snack when you are out keep snacks with you in your bag. Again the easiest and quickest are fruit and vegetables.

Swap food When shopping always think of a healthier alternative to what you pick up. Instead of potato chips go for low fat crackers or rice cakes. If you want biscuits chose one that contains fruit alternatively make your own (see recipes to follow)

Buying packed or ready made food and snacks usually means it will be less healthy than making your own. I will now provide a few easy recipes to make that are both tasty and good for you

OAT BISCUITS Melt in Microwave - 1 dessert spoon golden syrup1 dessert spoon cold water4oz margarine Stir in 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda(It will become frothy)Now add - 1 cup oats1cup SR flour 3/4 cup sugar

Mix together dried and melted ingredients.Roll into balls the size of a teaspoon.Put onto a greased tray and squash balls. Cook 125 degrees 10 - 15 minutes, until light golden brown.


2 x bananas

1 tablespoon of honey

2 cups of milk

1 x tablespoon of yoghurt

Method Peel the bananas, break them up into pieces and place them in a large bowl

Take a fork and mash the banana so that it changes from lumpy to soft squidgy and creamy.

Add the honey and yoghurt, mix well with a fork until it's all creamy

Place the milk into the bowl and whisk the mixture with your fork until everything is mixed and pour into glasses.

MUSTARD AND LEMON CHICKEN 4 skinless chicken breasts halved

1.5 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons of margarine

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

½ teaspoon of tarragon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken in a shallow oven proof dish

In a saucepan, melt the margarine, add the mustard, lemon juice, and tarragon. Stir well and pour over chicken.

Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until cooked

There are simply heaps of quick, easy, fun and surprisingly nutritious recipes for all the family to enjoy.

About The Author

Vicki Churchill is the owner of Simple Cookery, a site that specializes in Recipes and cooking tips to save you time in the kitchen.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Getting to the Root of Nutrition: The Pillars of Nutrition

Getting to the Root of Nutrition: The Pillars of Nutrition

by: Dave Saunders

What are we made of? While this may seem like a simple question, the answer is essential to the study of nutrition. Over hundreds if not thousands of years the study of nutrition has aimed to break down the different compounds from which the body is made and to understand where they came from. The simple fact is that the entire human body is made out of food and water and to a lesser extent air and light. The things that do not fall into these categories may be toxins and actually cause a burden to the structures and functions of the normal body. Many toxins are added to our food today and you may be surprised by what some of them are. Knowing what supports correct bodily function and what burdens it can help you make better choices about your lifestyle and your diet and the result is an improved level of wellness.

Understanding that from the very beginning you were and continue to be made out of the compounds found in food and water, nutrition and the study of it is obviously primarily health care and neither alternative nor complimentary. Nutrition is the most fundamental aspect of life.

What makes the food that makes us?

First we have the so-called “pillars of nutrition.” These are also known as macronutrients because they take up the largest portion of the food, apart from water which makes up a substantial portion of any food.

· Protein
· Fats
· Carbohydrates

Just like the basic parts used to make a car, these parts are all required for life and in a ratio of about 30% protein, 20% fats and 50% carbohydrates.

The quality of each of these pillars is very important. After all, do you want to be made from high quality parts or low quality parts?

Protein is composed of twenty different amino acids. In adults there are eight essential amino acids. Essential means there is no way for your body to get these building blocks other than through your diet. With children there are ten essential amino acids and premature babies require eleven amino acids. Again, they cannot get in these other way than through diet.

Meat from animals contains a complete profile of the essential amino acids, but some erroneously believe that vegetarians have a difficult time getting enough protein in their diets. Protein is a basic building block in all life and vegetarians eating a reasonably varied selection of foods not only get complete protein support, the protein from plants tends to be easier to digest and does not cause a build up of toxins like uric acid in the kidneys as is the case with all animal protein.

Modern diets tend to have the least amount of high quality essential fats but large amounts of low quality and harmful fats. These essential fats are found in foods such as flax seed, fresh nuts, avocados and certain types of fish. Processed foods and red meat contain saturated fats and trans fats which are neither essential nor beneficial.

The essential fats not only assist the body in the management of inflammation and other bodily processes, they make up some critical structures in the body as well. Over 50% of the mass of a healthy brain is composed of these essential, unsaturated fats.

A word of warning: have you ever opened a jar of raw nuts and discovered the smell of “oil paint”? This is a sign that the essential fats have gone rancid. Throw this food out.

The final pillar is the much maligned carbohydrate group. These foods provide energy as well as fiber to the diet. Fiber is found in most plants and is not considered a nutrient, but it is important for normal bodily function and waste elimination. Fruits and vegetables provide the best source of carbohydrates and varying amounts of fiber. Grains also provide beneficial carbohydrates as long as they are whole and are an excellent source of fiber. Refined grains provide the lowest quality source of carbohydrates and in excess may now only lead to unwanted weight gain, but also an increased risk of diabetes, and heart disease.

These three pillars of nutrition are very important and provide the bulk of any healthy diet. For hundreds of years, they were considered to be the only components of nutrition in food. That all changed as research moved forward in the late 19th and early 20th century.

In the next article, we will peer further into the essentials of food.

About The Author
Dave Saunders is a national speaker on nutrition and optimal health. Make optimal health a reality: Discover vital truths about health and wellness at and