In between overdoing it

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Are you getting enough sunshine?

milkIt all happened when I gave up Milk

Went I think of Vitamin D I think of milk. In recent years I have all but given up regular cows milk for the digestive upset it can give me. Never did I think that by giving up this dairy staple I might have been leaving myself susceptible to a Vitamin D deficiency. Lack of fortified dairy is only one way to get Vitamin D however. THe majority of our daily intake comes from sun exposure. The idea of exposing yourself to the sun runs counter to what we have been told for years. Cover up, use SPF 1000, wear a heat, avoid the sun. Little did we know we were also denying our bodies much needed nutrients.

If you are like me and work indoors each day it is easy to forget how little sun exposure we are actually getting. I mean we go from the house to the car, car to work, sit in enclosed office all day, then got back from office to car, car back to home. When do we even see the sun?

Ahh… on the weekends maybe? Maybe not. If you live in a cold climate it is unlikely you are venturing out enough to really get sufficient Vitamin D. If you are in a warm climate like me we are slathering on the sunscreen or just staying in the a/c and out of the heat.

How common is Vitamin D Deficiency?

The next thing you know these factors come together to bring about a Vitamin D deficiency. So how common is vitamin D deficiency?

According to Mecola.com “Researchers estimate that 50 percent of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, and this percentage rises in higher-risk populations such as the elderly and those with darker skin.”

Why do we need Vitamin D anyway?

So what does Vitamin D do anyway? An article on WebMD by Daniel J. DeNoon states …”your body must have vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children (rickets) and fragile, misshapen bones in adults (osteomalacia). You also need vitamin D for other important body functions.”

“Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses,” says Dr. Michael Holick, author of the book The Vitamin D Solution.

“Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms,” according to Healthline.com.

How do I know if I don’t have enough D?

So how do you know if you are Vitamin D deficient? I found out after a routine blood test. A lot of the symptoms had already presented themselves but I just assumed they were from other things. Vitamin D never crossed my mind. Here are some signs you may need to have your Vitamin D levels checked.

  1. Aching Bones and joint stiffness
  2. Depression
  3. Your overly sweaty
  4. You have tummy troubles. (This one is kind of ironic to me because that is what kept me from drinking milk, most likely making me more D deficient.
  5. General weakness.

People that are darker skinned or over 50 may be more susceptible to iron deficiency because of reduced ability to absorb D from the sun.  Even as little as 15 minutes outside without sunblock can have an effect on your Vitamin D levels. You doctor will advise you if a Vitamin D supplement is necessary. In general however, the best way to be sure you are getting the enough of the sunshine Vitamin is to turn of the TV, get off the computer, get out of the office and get outside more.

***I am not a doctor and this post is not medical advice. I am just someone who was caught by surprise by my low Vitamin D count. This is intended for information purposes only.

 

 

 

5 yummy ways to use up bananas

bananas-1326987

Seeing as bananas are pretty much the only fruit my son will eat it is something I always have on hand. I almost always have 2 or 3 bananas that have survived the week and reached the over ripe stage. Here are a few interesting recipes that use over ripe bananas.

  1. Banana ice cream – This is something I make pretty regularly and it is my preferred way to use up over ripe bananas. I find I can shove these few bananas in a freezer bag quickly and once they are frozen solid they are all set for ice cream.
  2. Banana Bread -This is a recipe I posted about a year ago. It is amazingly moist and delicious and easy to bring together. Plus it is low calorie and low fat. They only problem is sticking to just one slice!
  3. Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie – I like to use some of my frozen bananas to thicken up a smoothie. I use shakeology but you can use them in really any smoothie recipe to bump up the creamy texture and sweetness.
  4. Banana Muffins – Plan on trying this recipe today since I have some Nutella to use up. Sounds yummy!
  5. Banana Cookies – Did you know you could substituting bananas for eggs! Did not know you could do this with bananas until I found this recipes. I think it is genius. Can’t wait to try it.

Tea and Cake Tuesday

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Lady luck was on my side with this cake.It was quite a challenge to bring all the elements together but the over all look turned out to be a lot of fun. The cake had sweet raspberry filling sandwiched between a layer of moist vanilla cake and decadent chocolate cake. It was iced in a rich chocolate ganache. (Which you might have seen me make on a recent Periscope) Then it was covered in marshmallow fondant. My friend had her house decked out in casino themes décor including oversized dice and playing cards. It looked awesome and the cake fit right in.

If you are at the Blackjack table or home playing bridge, here is a selection of teas from Debbie Bergman from Enjoy Tea With Me , to go with our casino themed cake.

When I think of poker, or casino, I think jazz music and fancy/old time drinks. So I am going to have two teas again,  Jazzy Jasmine and Amaretto

 
Ingredients: Green tea, jasmine blossoms.
 
Ingredients: Rooibos tea, almond pieces, papaya pieces, natural flavors. Contains nuts.
For more information or to purchase these or other teas contact Debbie at My Steeped Tea Party.com/EnjoyTeaWithMe

 

Roasted Tomato Soup

tom

It has been cold around here. Ok cold for Florida is like 60’s But some days it has dropped below that recently sending us all digging out boots and jackets. The colder weather has had me craving warm foods to fill me up. I reached for a soup easy soup recipe that is warm tasty and healthy.

About 10-12 large tomato’s(You can really use any variety. I usually go to the farmers market and see what is available for cheap. They don’t have to be pretty.)

1/4 cup oil Mantova Organic Flavored Balsamic Condiments, Pear, Raspberry, Fig and Pomegranate, 34 Ounce

1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar (If you can find an specialty vinegar like this one it adds so much flavor!)

about 6 -10 garlic cloves (depending on how much you like garlic)

1 small chopped onion (will use a little oil to sauté them in)

2 cups chicken broth ( can use just water if you have no chicken broth on hand)

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp black pepper

salt

1/4 cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Proceed to remove stem and quarter the tomato’s and peel garlic.

Mix oil, vinegar. salt and pepper. Place tomato’s and garlic on baking sheet and toss wp-1455373862579.jpgthem in oil and vinegar mixture until they are covered. Roast for 35 -40 minutes until the edges of the tomatoes look a bit charred. There will be a decent amount of liquid released so be careful when removing them from the oven. Let them cool.

While they are cooling, place onions and small amount of oil or cooking spray in the bottom of a large sauce pan. Sautee onions for about 7 or 8 minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes and chicken broth/water. If you have an immersion blender then blend away. If not, then you can put the mixture in a blender to puree it, be sure it is cooled a bit and start of slowly.

Once it is blended up. Let the pureed soup heat over medium while you add in the Italian seasoning and almond milk.  If the soup seems thick at this point feel free to add additional water to thin it to your liking.

You can top with some parmesan cheese or some shredded basil. If you are on the 21 day fix it would be 1 green, 1 tsp not including the cheese.

 

 

 

 

Tea and Cake Tuesday

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I have some exciting news for Tea and Cake Tuesday. Debbie Bergman is here from Enjoy Tea with Me, an indepentant consultant with Steeped Tea . Each Tea and Cake Tuesday where I feature a newly made cake, she will suggest an imaginative, well-crafted tea selection to go with the cake theme. I am so excited to bring you her selections and learn about some new tea varieties. You can find her at My Steeped Tea Party.com/enjoyteawithme

As you can see the cake above is a Star Wars theme that I made for a friends son’s birthday party. I am really happy with how the BB-8 droid came out seeing as it was quite challenging for my skill level.

To go with the Star Wars theme Debbie selected two teas to represent the Dark and Light Side (Pretty creative huh?)

teaIron Goddess Oolong is a pure oolong tea, with great balanced taste.

dark teaDark Chocolate Chai – is a sweet mixture that would go good with cake. 😉

 

 

 

Stuffing Muffins

stuffThese are super quick and crazy easy. This is also probably the only meal other than pizza both my kids will eat. My husband likes to go all Thanksgiving  on them and add some cranberry sauce and gravy.

1 box stove top stuffing
1 lb ground beef, Turkey or chickenwp-1454495524808.jpg
2 eggs
1/2 cup water or chicken stock

Wash your hands well because they are going to get meaty! Dump all the ingredients in a large bowl and fold them together by hand. You could use a spoon but I think your hands just mix it together better. Once well mixed. Place a rough 2 tbsp dollop in a well sprayed muffin tin. Do not pack the mixture. Place in a 350 oven for 30 mins. Can’t get much easier.

Meringue Candy Cookies

cookie

This is a recipe that developed by happy accident. I bought a large container of powdered egg whites to use in a cauliflower pizza crust recipe. Well, that recipe was a resounding flop. I came to realize I just don’t like cauliflower pizza crust. So the dilemma became what was I going to do with all this powdered egg white? wp-1453643486595.jpg

When I googled egg whites recipes, meringue cookie recipes kept popping up. I figured I would give it a try. Meringues are just liquid egg whites whipped up with some sugar. Why would powdered egg whites work differently? So I gave it a go. This recipe is adapted from one I found on Food.com.

4 tsp egg white powder

4 tbsp. water

1/2 cup sugar or granulated stevia

1/2 tsp of extract of your choice. I used vanilla.

You could leave the cookies here and eat them just plain. But I went the extra step.  I still have leftover candy from Christmas so I decided to use some of them up and the reslts put this cookie over the top!wp-1453643549253.jpg

4-5 fun size candy bars, chopped

Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl and then get to whipping. I used a hand mixer this time but it took what felt like forrrrreverrrr to get to stiff peaks, (about 7-8 minutes.) Next time I will try the stand mixer and see what happens.

Once stiff peaks are formed, slowly and gently fold in candy pieces. Drop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 55 to 60 minutes and 275 degrees. Low and slow people! the tops should be lightly browned.

The result is sweet, crunchy and melt in your mouth yummy. wp-1453643292032.jpg

 

 

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