1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried lavendar (McCormick)
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 (6-ounce) container 2% Greek style plain yogurt
2 cups quartered strawberries
1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan; cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Strain syrup through a sieve into a small bowl; discard solids. Chill
2. Sprinkle gelatin over 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Let stand 1 minute or until gelatin dissolves.
3. Combine honey, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk.
4. Heat milk over medium-high heat in a small heavy saucepan to 180 degrees or until tiny bubbles form around edge (don not boil). Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture, stirring well. Poor milk mixture into a bowl; stir occassionally until cool but not set (about 20 minutes). Stir in yogurt. Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt mixture into each of 8 dessert glasses or bowls. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
5. Top each serving with 1/4 cup stra
With all the pressures and demands placed on us by work, family,
and our many other relationships, life can certainly get downright stressful at
If you have a job, have a family, or interact with other human
beings daily, then you know what I'm talking about.
Unfortunately, most people reach for all the WRONG foods when they're stressed, and even worse, many others turn to unhealthy habits like drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes
(yikes!) to cope with life's challenges...all disastrous choices for your
health, hormones, and waistline alike.
But what if you could EAT your way to a more relaxed, calmer state, without packing on the pounds? Or even better, what if you could do it while DROPPING some of those pesky pound-a-roos as you do?
Well, good news.... you CAN, when you know exactly which belly-slimming foods to reach for when things just so happen to get a little crazy. Here are 8 of my favorites:
1. Oatmeal- Carbs prompt your brain to make more serotonin - your body's "feel good" chemical. Choosing a low GI carb source that yields a steady blood sugar response, like old fashioned oatmeal, is a healthy choice for your waistline while also yielding a steady, sustained supply of serotonin for a calming, soothing effect.
2. Oranges- In one study, German researchers found that consuming Vitamin C helped test subjects experience reduced elevations in cortisol (your body's #1 stress hormone) and blood pressure when subjected to a specific stressful environment -- public speaking and math problems! Poor research subjects! Other foods high in Vitamin C include peppers, cantaloupe, and
tomatoes, just to name a few.
3. Turkey- Turkey contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan, which also triggers serotonin release and a relaxed state. Gobble gobble...time for a nap!
4. Salmon- Salmon and other fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty
acids, which have been shown to have a positive effect on stress levels. For instance, a study published in Diabetes & Metabolism found that omega-3s keep the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from peaking, while another study conducted at Ohio State University showed omega-3 fatty acids to decrease anxiety by 20%!
5. Avocados- Due to their high potassium content, avocados have been shown to help reduce stress-related high blood pressure. Believe it or not, avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas! Guacamole anyone?
6. Broccoli- Broccoli contains folic acid, a vitamin which has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, panic, and depression. Just another reason to chow down on this super food regularly.
7. Almonds- Crunch crunch, yum yum...stress relief at it's best!
These little guys are packed with B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc, all of which are involved in the production of serotonin. The zinc and magnesium combination in particular has been shown to improve sleep from a variety of angles. For example, one Italian study showed zinc and magnesium to shorten the time it took subjects to fall asleep while improving quality of sleep and altertness the morning after.
8. Blueberries- Packed with antioxidants that reduce oxidative
stress within the body, blueberries are also rich in Vitamin C whose benefits we went over earlier. As an added benefit, they're also extremely low glycemic so they're a great choice practically any time of day.
Courtesy of BioTrust Nutrition
You might not want to rush into knee surgery. Physical therapy can be just as good for a common injury and at far less cost and risk, the most rigorous study to compare these treatments concludes.
Therapy didn't always help and some people wound up having surgery for the problem, called a torn meniscus. But those who stuck with therapy had improved as much six months and one year later as those who were given arthroscopic surgery right
away, researchers found.
"Both are very good choices. It would be quite reasonable to try physical therapy first because the chances are quite good that you'll do quite well," said one study leader, Dr. Jeffrey Katz, a joint specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
He was to discuss the study Tuesday at an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons conference in Chicago. Results were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.
A meniscus is one of the crescent-shaped cartilage discs that cushion the knee. About one-third of people over 50 have a tear in one, and arthritis makes this more likely. Usually the tear doesn't cause symptoms but it can be painful.
When that happens, it's tough to tell if the pain is from the tear or the arthritis or whether surgery is needed or will help. Nearly half a million knee surgeries for a torn meniscus are done each year in the U.S.
The new federally funded study compared surgery with a less drastic option. Researchers at seven major universities and orthopedic surgery centers around
the U.S. assigned 351 people with arthritis and meniscus tears to get either surgery or physical therapy. The therapy was nine sessions on average plus exercises to do at home, which experts say is key to success.
After six months, both groups had similar rates of functional improvement. Pain scores
also were similar.
Thirty percent of patients assigned to physical therapy wound up having surgery before the six months was up, often because they felt therapy wasn't helping them. Yet they ended up the same as those who got surgery right away, as well as the rest of the physical therapy group who stuck with it and avoided having an operation.
"There are patients who would like to get better in a `fix me' approach" and surgery may be best for them, said Elena Losina, another study leader from Brigham and Women's Hospital.
However, an Australian preventive medicine expert contends that the study's results should change practice. Therapy "is a reasonable first strategy, with surgery reserved for the minority who don't have improvement," Rachelle Buchbinder of Monash University in Melbourne wrote in a commentary in the medical journal.
As it is now, "millions of people are being exposed to potential risks associated with a treatment that may or may not offer specific benefit, and the costs are substantial," she wrote.
Surgery costs about $5,000, compared with $1,000 to $2,000 for a typical course of physical therapy, Katz said.
One study participant, Bob O'Keefe, 68, of suburban Boston, was glad to avoid surgery for his meniscus injury three years ago. "I
felt better within two weeks" on physical therapy, he said. "My knee is virtually normal today" and he still does the recommended exercises several times a week.
Robert Dvorkin had both treatments for injuries on each knee several years apart. Dvorkin, 56, director of operations at the Coalition for the Homeless in New York City, had surgery followed by physical therapy for a tear in his right knee and said it was months before he felt no pain. Then several years ago he hurt his left knee while exercising. "I had been doing some stretching and doing some push-ups and I just felt it go `pop.'" he recalls. "I was limping, it was extremely painful."
An imaging test showed a less severe tear and a different surgeon recommended physical therapy. Dvorkin said it worked like a charm, he avoided surgery and recovered faster than from his first injury. The treatment involved two to three hour-long sessions a week including strengthening exercises, balancing and massage. He said the sessions weren't that painful and his knee felt better after each one. "Within a month I was healed," Dvorkin said. "I was completely back to normal."
AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner in Chicago contributed to this
Marilynn Marchione can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP
Lindsey Tanner can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner
The great people at FPR (Feeling Pretty Remarkable) contacted us last week and said they really like our website and our blog so they wanted to share our information on their website. After digging around on their blog site we determined that they offer some pretty remarkable information so we have added them to the Links section of our website. We invite you to do some exploring of your own and
Quote of the Day
"You are always only one choice away from changing your life."