Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Friday, March 30, 2012

fun friday photo~ one more to go

if you peek in on these guys and hear some high pitched squeeky "peeps" wait about 5 minutes more and mom will move to feed them. so far it looks like her schedule is every hour. this taken about 3:00 pm pst.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

wildlife cam news~ we've got eaglets

posting update wednesday morning: we had a confirmed hatch of the second egg yesterday. one more to go... :) for the next couple of days the nest will be quiet most of the time, then mom and dad will spend most of their time, one on the nest the other hunting and feeding the chicks- yes, they will have a schedule..when i get it figured out, i'll let everyone know.
Things are moving very quickly in Decorah land,  I “news flashed” tuesday, that we had a pip on the first egg on monday, and by the afternoon of tuesday we had an eaglet and another pip on a second egg. I really expected to have few days between hatching and pips since the eggs were laid several days apart; not so with these “kidlands” they are anxious to be out and about. When I checked on them wednesday morning, mom Decorah was making sure the little guys were warm and comfy. With three eaglets it will be fun to watch as they grow how mom and dad are able to fit all underneath them…but fit they will.

Just a note: someone asked me yesterday how I get these photos. Well, with the bears, it is from the NABC folks and their website. These eagles (and Siku) however, are from my computer screen. I sit patiently with my monitor on full screen, my camera close by and wait for action.  I also have a second laptop in front of me so I can work on school things, this blog, or record the action of my wildlife subjects while I wait for the shots. I recently purchased a new camera and as you can see compared to last year’s Hornby Eagles, these pictures are far superior.  a double click on any photo will expand the picture for a closer look-enjoy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

meal ideas ~ flaxseed

Flaxseed ~

Flaxseed is the new "it" superfood, noted for its alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a fatty acid that can be converted into omega-3 fatty acids, which offer similar benefits as the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish. ALA omega-3s are known for helping to lower triglycerides, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Flaxseed has emerged as a must-eat power food for overall health. High in both soluble and insoluble fiber, flaxseed is also a good source of lignans, a phytoestrogen that is considered another type of antioxidant.

Flaxseeds are available whole, ground (milled), or as flaxseed oil. To reap the most nutritional reward from the nutty-flavored flaxseed, use ground flaxseed on salads and cereal and mixed into breads, smoothies, and dressings.

…my special note on flaxseed- 1 to 2 tablespoons “ground” mixed in a 4 oz beverage of your choice once a day is the best medicine for those menopausal symptoms. I swear! It is loaded with natural estrogen and when I needed that…I never had to take a pill again once I started “swigging” down my flaxseed. It must be "ground" and it must be uncooked.

Flaxseed and Rye Breadsticks
Flaxseeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, making these diabetic bread sticks a good and healthy side for soups and salads. 1 stick CARBS: 21

1/3 cup flaxseeds
2 1/4 - 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rye flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (120 to 130 degree F)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons flaxseeds

    1. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the 1/3 cup flaxseeds; cook and stir for 5 to 7 minutes or until seeds "pop"; cool. In a blender, cover and blend until ground (you should have about 1/2 cup).
    2. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, the rye flour, and yeast. Add the warm water, oil, honey, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the ground flaxseeds and as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as you can.
    3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface of the dough. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 1 hour).
    4. Punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray; set aside.
    5. Roll dough into a 16x8-inch rectangle. Brush generously with water. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flaxseeds. Gently pat flaxseeds into dough. Cut dough crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips.
    6. Place strips 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets, twisting breadsticks 2 to 3 times, if desired. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 425 degree F.
    7.Bake breadsticks for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheets. Cool on wire racks.

Salmon and Spinach Salad with Flaxseed Dressing
This easy main dish is full of heart-healthy ingredients. This dinner is low in calories, and the healthy fat in the salmon will keep you full. 1 1/2 cups CARBS: 6

12 ounces cooked salmon,* broken into chunks
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup coarsely chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup quartered red onion slices
1/4 cup Flaxseed Dressing (below)

1. In a large bowl, combine cooked salmon, spinach, cucumbers, and red onion. Pour Flaxseed Dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Makes 4 (1-1/2-cup) main-dish servings.

Tip: Cook the salmon by grilling or broiling. You'll need a 1-pound fresh or frozen salmon fillet to give 12 ounces salmon after cooking. Thaw salmon, if frozen. Rinse salmon; pat dry with paper towels.

Recipe source:  -- also you can print this page by clicking the +  link at the top right of the blog, above my profile. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

news flash~~ we have a pip- eaglets on the way

mom checking eggs Tues AM -see the pip?
Great news everyone, the first Decorah eaglet pip has been confirmed at 11am PST, 3-26-12. Now that the pip has occurred, it will take approximately 24 – 48 hours for full hatch. This process will occur one egg at a time. now it gets really fun! watch live

healthy living~ minty face wash

skin care from the past
As those who know me know I do not wear make-up (did in my younger days before I realized that covering your complexion and piling “anti-aging” chemicals onto your face only makes your skin age faster) I am always looking for natural ways to keep my completion clean and healthy. And, as I age I find that I need to change every so often to meet the new needs of my skin.  Here is a recipe found in a book published back in the late 1800’s  – very nice, easy to make, and my skin is loving it at the moment.

Minty Soap face and Body Wash
This recipe dilutes the castile soap by 50% with distilled water and a hydrosol, wonderfully fragrant, highly anti-inflammatory lemon balm hydrosol, thus creating a very gentle liquid soap product for virtually all skin types. It’s perfect for mint lovers and for an effective pick-me-up cleanser for the entire body. The first time I made this recipe I cut the recipe into ¼ (using 2oz base) to make sure I liked the results.  (=mini recipe)

8 oz unscented liquid castile soap (2oz)
½ c lemon balm hydrosol (1/8)
½ c distilled water (1/8)
1 teaspoon jojoba oil (¼)
10 drops spearmint essential oil (2 drops)
10 drops peppermint essential oil (2 drops)

Add all ingredients to a 2-cup or larger lidded container. Shake or sir well to blend
Pour into storage container, preferably plastic squeeze bottle. (hopefully re-purposed)
No refrigeration is required, but for maximum freshness and potency, please use within one year. Shake well before use.

Application tip: Using a soft cloth, cleansing pad, or your fingers, apply approximately 1 teaspoon to cover entire face, throat, and neck.

All of these products can be purchased in your local health food store and some pharmacies. Two places and product brands I trust the most are Mountain RoseHerbs and Aura Caica

Monday, March 26, 2012

spring poems

 With the ushering in of spring last week I wanted to share a couple of my favorite spring poems. The first is by a not so famous poet of the romantic-turn of the century England, however, I always think of this poem when wondering what we are doing to our world. The second is a popular poet in the court of Charles I; this poem was more a result of the cold actions of his mistress, nevertheless, has wonderful spring feel. 

Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:--
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

The Spring

Now that the winter’s gone, the earth hath lost
Her snow-white robes; and now no more the frost
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream:
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth,
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree
The drowsy cuckoo and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring,
In triumph to the world, the youthful spring:
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array
Welcome the coming of the long’d-for May.
Now all things smile: only my love doth lower,
Nor hath the scalding noon-day sun the power
To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold
Her heart congeal’d, and makes her pity cold.
The ox, which lately did for shelter fly
Into the stall, doth now securely lie
In open fields; and love no more is made 
By the fire-side, but in the cooler shade
Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep
Under a sycamore, and all things keep
Time with the season: only she doth carry
June in her eyes, in her heart January.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

wildlife cam news~ sunny day bear strolls

Faith in den looking at Dr. Rogers
Lily contemplating the cam 
This week the NABC bears have been extremely active, with weather temperatures higher than normal mothers venture out of their dens and with some needing to move their cubs and themselves to drier grounds (snow melt sometimes flood the dens and the families usually take refuge under big pines.) For more information you can visit NABC FACTS- How Mothers raise Cubs.  If you have not visited the NABC website, I highly recommend it; there is a ton of information that you will only benefit from. Their sister site- The Wildlife Research Institute is another great site of NABC for information- this is where the school outreach program generates. Along with the bears venturing out, Dr. Rogers, Sue Mansfield and the rest of the Bear Study Team hit the trails. That means... real photos for us The website updates of course have more.
Fern chewing on Herb's head


Decorah Alert: the Decorah eaglets should start their pip in about a week, could be sooner. Remember, that they were laid roughly 4 days apart and the pipping should follow suit. And remember there are three chicks to be hatched.  

This is the start of an exciting time, if you have never watched eagles care for their nestlings…you are in for a magnificent treat.  Here is a wonderful website, Eagle Facts and a page on Eagle Nesting & Raising Young information. On the Decorah website there is also a place where you can sign up (totally safe from spamming) for and email "nest alerts" when the action starts and when things happen that the Decorah folks feel would be great to see. They are working on bringing us text alerts. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

meal ideas ~ fish

~ Fish 
Seafood lovers rejoice! Fish is the seventh power food in our "20 Top Power Foods" search. Fish is a great addition to your meal plan, especially omega-3-rich fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Omega-3s, a type of polyunsaturated fat, which is healthful, can help lower triglycerides. According to Healing Gourmet: Eat to Beat Diabetes (McGraw-Hill, 2006), omega-3s can also help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of blood clots.

Although fish is good for you and is considered a lean-meat substitute for its high protein, concerns have been raised about harmful mercury levels and other toxins found in some fish.

According to the American Heart Association, swordfish, shark, golden bass, golden snapper, and king mackerel have the highest mercury levels, measuring up to 0.99 parts per million for a 3-ounce serving. Fish lower in mercury for a 3-ounce serving include wild salmon (.01 ppm), herring (.04 ppm), catfish (.05 ppm), and canned light tuna (.12 ppm).

Try preparing fish on the grill, baked, broiled, or steamed. One serving of fish is 1 ounce.

Spice-Rubbed Salmon with Tropical Rice
For this fast dinner, the seasoned salmon is baked and served on a quick-to-fix brown rice pilaf flavored with mango. It's a complete meal in minutes. 4 servings: 1 portion salmon and 1/2 cup rice; CARB:35

1 1 pound fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillet
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, coarsely crushed*
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar 
             or brown sugar substitute** 
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
1 medium mango, seeded, peeled, and chopped
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
Lemon wedges (optional)
Fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Thaw salmon, if frozen. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Measure thickness of fish. Place fish in a greased shallow baking pan.

2. In a small bowl, stir together coriander seeds, brown sugar, and lemon-pepper seasoning. Sprinkle fish evenly with coriander seeds mixture; use your fingers to press in slightly. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness of fish or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together cooked rice, mango, the snipped cilantro, and the lemon peel. Serve fish on top of rice mixture. If desired, garnish with lemon wedges and/or cilantro sprigs.

**Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Sweet 'N Low® Brown or Sugar Twin® Granulated Brown. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
  * Tip: You can substitute 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted if desired) and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin for the crushed coriander seeds.

Pecan-Crusted Fish with Peppers and Squash
Nut-crusted fish and antioxidant-rich vegetables make this diabetic main dish both healthy and delicious. 4 servings CARB: 26

1 pound fresh or frozen skinless catfish fillets, white fish, or orange roughy, about 1/2 inch thick
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup refrigerated egg product or 1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 small red bellpeppers, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1 medium zucchini, bias-sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 medium summer squash, bias-sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 teaspoons cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
Lemon wedges (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Cut fish into 3- to 4-inch pieces; set aside. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a shallow dish, stir together cornmeal, pecans, and salt. In another dish, stir together flour and cayenne. In a small bowl, stir together flour and cayenne. In a small bowl, whisk egg and water.

3. Dip each piece of fish into flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Dip fish into egg mixture, then into pecan mixture to coat. Place in the prepared pan.

4. In a large bowl, combine sweet peppers, zucchini, and squash. Add oil and seasoned salt; toss to coat. Arrange vegetables next to fish, overlapping as needed to fit.

5. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and vegetables are crisp-tender. If desired, serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe source:  -- also you can print this page by clicking the +  link at the top right of the blog above my profile. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

healthy living~ fingernails & health problems

Fingernails and your health
Last week I featured how to care for your nails, and thanks to the Mayo Clinic Staff, here is some important information on your fingernails and your health. Your fingernails can provide clues to your overall health — but do you know how to read the signs? Check out seven nail conditions that warrant medical attention. I debated whether to show you pictures of these conditions, I decided not. If you suspect your nails may be saying something, have your healthcare professional take a look to see if it really is a concern.

Nail pitting
Nail pitting is small depressions in the nails. Nail pitting is most common in people who have psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin. Nail pitting can also be related to connective tissue disorders, such as Reiter's syndrome, and alopecia areata — an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
Nail clubbing
Nail clubbing occurs when the tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails curve around the fingertips, usually over the course of years. Nail clubbing is sometimes the result of low oxygen in the blood and could be a sign of various types of lung disease. Nail clubbing is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and AIDS. 
Spoon nails
Spoon nails (koilonychia) are soft nails that look scooped out. The depression usually is large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Often, spoon nails are a sign of iron deficiency anemia or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Spoon nails can also be associated with heart disease and hypothyroidism. 
Terry's nails
With the condition known as Terry's nails, the tip of each nail has a dark band. Sometimes this can be attributed to aging. In other cases, it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, such as liver disease, congestive heart failure or diabetes. 
Beau's lines
Beau's lines are indentations that run across the nails. The indentations can appear when growth at the area under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Conditions associated with Beau's lines include uncontrolled diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, as well as illnesses associated with a high fever, such as scarlet fever, measles, mumps and pneumonia. Beau's lines can also be a sign of zinc deficiency. 
Nail separation
With a condition known as onycholysis, the fingernails become loose and can separate from the nail bed. Sometimes detached nails are associated with injury or infection. In other cases nail separation is a reaction to a particular drug or consumer product, such as nail hardeners or adhesives. Thyroid disease and psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin — also can cause nail separation.
Yellow nail syndrome
With yellow nail syndrome, nails thicken and new growth slows. This results in a yellowish discoloration of the nails. Nails affected by yellow nail syndrome might lack a cuticle and detach from the nail bed in places. Yellow nail syndrome is often a sign of respiratory disease, such as chronic bronchitis. Yellow nail syndrome can also be related to swelling of the hands (lymphedema).

Thank You, Dr. Jean K. from the Mayo Clinic Staff for emailing me this information

Monday, March 19, 2012

join me in Earth Hour 2012

Earth Hour 2012


                    TO SAVE THE PLANET

We only have one planet.  You can help protect it. Participate in the world’s largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour. It starts by turning off your lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on March 31, 2012 in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet.  Think what can be achieved when we all come together for a common cause.
A little background for those new to Earth Hour - 
In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour. Over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.

On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet. 

Earth Hour 2011 was the biggest year in the campaign's five year history, reaffirming it as the largest ever voluntary action for the environment. It took place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories in all seven continents. It had an estimated reach of 1.8 billion people across the globe. In addition to this, the campaign's digital footprint grew to 91 million. Let's make Earth Hour 2012 even better !!

EarthHour 2012 will take place on Saturday 31 March at 8.30PM (local time). This Earth Hour we want you to go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up.
       there are several interesting places to check out
- fun-stuff for adults & kids; EarthHourBlog; ways to Get Involved

this week's journey

 first of the season

what's new... click on the link and take a peek at  jesse's blog:

berner tails ~ oh-oh, M's got a new cam

articles this week:
join me Earth Hour 2012
fingernails & health problems
fish - omega 3s
webcam news~ sunny day bear strolls 
fun friday photo~ wha'cha'do'n?

don't forget to visit  Journey  pages for pics and webcam updates 

Friday, March 16, 2012

fun friday photo~ all natural

like my all-natural 'do?

This baby Asian elephant walks through tall grass at an elephant refuge in Lampang, Thailand. Sometimes an elephant calf sucks its trunk, just like a human baby sucks its thumb!

Photograph by William Albert Allard, national geographic

Thursday, March 15, 2012

wildlife cam news~ the fun continues

Not much additional I can report except say…. cute-cute-cute


lots of feeties

growing so fast

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

meal ideas ~ carrots

~ Carrots
Cooked or raw, carrots are a healthy addition to any meal plan. Have them for a snack with 2 tablespoons of light ranch dressing or include them in your main course or as a side dish.

Carrots provide vitamin A from the antioxidant beta-carotene. This powerful phytonutrient may help prevent cancer and heart disease, says Jeannette Jordan, RD, CDE, and member of the Diabetic Living editorial advisory board. Carotenoids found in yellow and orange produce may also help reduce insulin resistance.

Carrots are another source of fiber and heart-healthy flavonoids, which can also be enjoyed juiced with other healthful fruits and vegetables such as apples, beets, or the power spice ginger.

One serving of carrots is 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked.

Carrot Hummus
Carrots rich in beta carotene, combined with fiber rich garbanzo beans, makes this a great dip recipe for snacks or a spread for sandwiches.
MAKES: 16 servings = 2 tablespoon CARBS: 8
1 cup chopped carrots
1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

Assorted dippers (such as toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles, vegetable sticks, and/or whole-grain crackers)

1. In a covered small saucepan cook carrots in a small amount of boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender; drain. In a food processor combine cooked carrots, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt. Cover and process until mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Stir in parsley.

2. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 days. If too thick, stir in enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dipping consistency. Serve with assorted dippers.

Nutty Carrot Cake Bars
Loaded with carrot, nuts, and pumpkin pie spice and slathered with a velvety cream cheese frosting, these bars are sure to become a favorite dessert.
YIELD: 20 bars CARBs: 12

Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar *
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely shredded carrot
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 recipe Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment, extending over the edges of the pan. Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. You can use foil, but I do not use aluminium in my kitchen if at all possible- parchment/foil is for lifting cake out of baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Add carrot, 1/2 cup of the nuts, the eggs, oil, and milk. Stir just until combined. Spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool bars in pan on a wire rack.

4. Using the edges of the parchment/foil, lift the uncut bars out of the pan. Spread top evenly with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Cut into 20 bars.

 *Sugar Substitutes:  yes, you can use a substitute, but my philosophy is that real sugar is healthier for you than the “toy”, just eat in moderation. If you so choose…use Stevia® bulk or packets. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1/2 cup sugar.

To store: Layer bars between waxed paper in an airtight container. Cover; seal. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1/2 of an 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1/4 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt

1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in yogurt until smooth. Fold thawed whipped topping into cream cheese mixture.

Recipe source:  -- also you can print this page by clicking the
+ link at the top right of the blog, above my profile.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

healthy living~ fingernail health & care

For signs of health, look no further than your hands.

As early as 400 B.C.E., Hippocrates taught that the nails reflect the condition of the inner body. It is true that abnormalities of the nails can often provide early clues to common medical problems or severe systemic diseases.

Take a few moments and examine your unpolished fingernails under a good light. You will gather a new appreciation for how your lifestyle affects your nails and overall health.

Nails grow at different rates due to age, nutrition, and health factors. Under the best of conditions, a nail grows about .004 inches a day or 1/8 of an inch each month. It takes about six months for a new nail to grow from cuticle to tip.

Are you taking good care of your nails? Here's what you need to know to keep your fingernails in tiptop shape.

By Mayo Clinic staff
         Take a close look at your fingernails. Are they strong and healthy looking? Or do you see ridges, dents, or areas of unusual color or shape? Many less than desirable nail conditions can be avoided through proper fingernail care. Others indicate an underlying condition that requires attention.

Fingernails: What's normal, what's not
          Your fingernails — composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin — grow from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. As new cells grow, older cells become hard and compacted and are eventually pushed out toward your fingertips.

Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. They're uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration. Sometimes fingernails develop harmless vertical ridges that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Vertical ridges tend to become more prominent with age. Fingernails can also develop white lines or spots due to injury, but these eventually grow out with the nail.

Not all nail conditions are normal, however. Consult your doctor or dermatologist if you notice:

  • Changes in nail color, such as discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under the nail
  • Changes in nail shape, such as curled nails
  • Thinning or thickening of the nails
  • Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin
  • Bleeding around the nails
  • Redness, swelling or pain around the nails
  • Fingernail care: Do's and don'ts

 To keep your fingernails looking their best, follow these simple guidelines.

  • Keep your fingernails dry and clean. This prevents bacteria, fungi and other organisms from growing under your fingernails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals, and avoid long soaks in the tub.
  • Trim and file your fingernails regularly. Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve. It might be easiest to trim and file your fingernails when they're soft, such as after bathing.
  • Use moisturizer. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too.

  • Abuse your fingernails. To prevent nail damage, don't use your fingernails as tools to pick, poke or pry things.
  • Bite your fingernails or pick at your cuticles. These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection.
  • Pull off hangnails. You might rip live tissue along with the hangnail. Instead, carefully clip off hangnails.
  • Ignore problems. If you have a nail problem that doesn't seem to go away on its own or is associated with other signs and symptoms, consult your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.

 Tips for weak or brittle fingernails 
          Weak fingernails can be a challenge to toughen up. To protect weak or brittle fingernails and reduce the risk of splitting or breaking: 
  • Keep your nails short. Long nails are more likely to split or break.
  • Use moisturizer. Apply moisturizer to your fingernails and cuticles several times throughout the day and before bed. Consider wearing cotton gloves while you sleep, to help seal in the moisture.
  • Apply nail polish. A thin coat of clear nail polish can help keep moisture in your fingernails.
  • Limit use of nail polish remover. Don't use nail polish remover more than once a week. When you do need to use nail polish remover, choose the acetone-free variety. Acetone dries nails.
  • Ask your doctor about biotin supplements. Changing your diet or taking daily multivitamins isn't likely to strengthen your nails. However, some research suggests that the nutritional supplement biotin might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.

A note about manicures and pedicures 
If you rely on manicures or pedicures for healthy looking nails, keep a few things in mind. Stick to salons that display a current state license, and work only with technicians also licensed by the state board. Don't have your cuticles removed — it can lead to nail infection. Also, make sure your nail technician properly sterilizes all tools used during your procedure. Various infections can spread through the use of unsterilized tools. You might also ask how the foot baths are cleaned. Ideally, a bleach solution is used between clients and the filters are cleaned regularly.

It's easy to neglect your nails — but there's much you can do to keep your fingernails healthy and strong. Start with basic fingernail care.
i would like to thank Dr. Jean K. from the Mayo Clinic for emailing me this information.

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