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!”

Thursday, June 28, 2012

attack of the tent catapillers

 We started seeing these bundles of silky-sacks hanging all around in our aspen trees. Hummm; maybe a butterfly of some kind? Then Steve started looking closer and we noticed that the aspen leaves near the silky sacks were stripped off the branches…oh-oh…not good. So, with a little diligence we researched just what these little buggers were. Did they eat those leaves before they made their nest…or after? AND, will they eat more. Is this an infestation? The questions piled into our brains until we could take it no longer. Basically they are called Tent Caterpillars- the larva of the Lacky Moth, and in large numbers can decimate an aspen groove and harm it. Also, the bears love to eat these as they squiggle down the tree trunks- just a little FYI J
Steve found out that their major enemies are a wasps and flies, so we decided to break open the nest enough to allow those guys inside the sack that looked to hold many of these little wormy things… he bought a pellet/bb gun and began firing away. Me? Well, I thought a sling shot with rocks (which we have millions) would do the trick of knocking them out of the trees. One out fifty rocks smacked it down…okay not so good. Steve and his gun were very accurate and the next day we noticed that the sacks had dead or not so thriving caterpillars. Yes, I am a naturalist, save the earth, protect wildlife and nature, but, hey it’s our trees- according to Steve.

It is neat that they do have a value before they come out of that nest and cocoon themselves to morph into a moth so they can lay more eggs to be caterpillars… their poop that builds up in the sacks when falls is very nutritional for the earth and fertilizes the base of the tree that they munched.

After spending a couple of days with these guys in their nest we suddenly realize that the hundreds of tiny cocoons all over our house, MC, and barn are these guys waiting to be moths. Impressive really if you saw the distance they had to travel as little worms to reach these places.

Okay, Steve and his bb-gun became active once more.

Now he has a goal to figure out just how to deal with these guys in the future. Most people tell us they take them down and burn the nest, stomp on them, feed them to their iguana…- you can buy a solution to spray the trees (not good idea!!!).

Anyone have an suggestion how to deal with these?
 Let us know. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

meal ideas ~ yogurt

Wow, it has been 20 weeks already and this is the last entry of the power foods—I will list all of them with links to their postings next week just in case you missed one.

Yogurt ~

Yogurt is a sweet treat that is creamy, delicious, and good for you. An excellent source of calcium, which helps promote the health of bones and teeth as well as muscle and blood vessel function, yogurt is also a good source of energy-boosting vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and protein. It also provides zinc, which can be deficient in some people with diabetes and aids in immune function and wound healing. Probiotic yogurt contains health-promoting bacteria that some research has proposed is beneficial for digestive health, including lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome. Yogurt's live cultures may also benefit immunity and improve cholesterol.

There are different yogurts to choose from on the market, including Greek yogurt, which is thicker than regular yogurt because it is strained before being packaged.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits
Count on servings of dairy, fruit, and cereal in this healthful and easy breakfast recipe. Suitable for diabetic food plans, the recipe would also make a healthful midday snack. MAKES: 2 servings CARBS: 30

1 medium ripe fresh peach or nectarine or 2 medium kiwifruits
1 8 ounce carton plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup bite-size shredded wheat biscuits, coarsely crushed
2 teaspoons sugar-free pancake and waffle syrup or light pancake and waffle syrup product
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted
Dash ground cinnamon

1. If desired, peel fruit; pit peach and nectarine. Chop fruit, reserving 2 wedges for garnish. Set aside.

2. Combine yogurt and vanilla. Spoon half of the yogurt mixture into two 8- to 10-ounce parfait glasses. Top with half of the crushed cereal, all of the chopped fruit, syrup, remaining yogurt mixture, and remaining crushed cereal. Sprinkle with almonds and cinnamon. Garnish each serving with a reserved fruit wedge. 

Raspberry-Mint Swirl Cheesecake
This diabetic-friendly cheesecake skips the crust and mixes yogurt cheese with cream cheese to decrease fat in the recipe. The result is a fantastic dessert!
SERVING: 1 slice and 1-1/2 tablespoons raspberry sauce CARBS: 20

5 cups plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt*
3 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 sprigs fresh mint
1 cup fresh red raspberries
3 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
1 8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 recipe Raspberry Sauce (below)
Fresh raspberries (optional)
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

For yogurt cheese:
1. Line a yogurt strainer, sieve, or a small colander with three layers of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth or a clean paper coffee filter. Suspend lined strainer, sieve, or colander over a large bowl. Spoon yogurt into the strainer, sieve, or colander. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator. Discard liquid. Set yogurt cheese aside.

2. In a small saucepan, sprinkle 2 1/2 teaspoons of the gelatin over the milk; let stand for 5 minutes. Bruise mint sprigs by pressing with the back of a spoon; add to saucepan. Heat and stir milk mixture over low heat just until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. Cool for 15 minutes. Remove and discard mint sprigs; set aside.

3. Place the 1 cup raspberries in a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Transfer raspberry puree to another small saucepan. Stir in the 3 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle remaining 1-1/4 teaspoons gelatin over raspberry mixture; let stand for 5 minutes. Heat and stir raspberry mixture over low heat just until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat; cover and chill for 15 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in yogurt cheese, the 1/3 cup sugar, and the vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in milk mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture to the raspberry mixture; stir until well mixed. Set aside.

5. Spoon half of the white cream cheese mixture into a 7- to 8-inch springform pan. Spoon half of the raspberry mixture into mounds over white cream cheese mixture. Using a narrow, thin-bladed metal spatula or a table knife, swirl raspberry mixture into white mixture. Repeat layering remaining white cream cheese mixture and raspberry mixture. Cover and chill for 24 hours.

6. To serve, using a small sharp knife, loosen cheesecake from side of springform pan; remove side of pan. Cut cheesecake into wedges. Drizzle Raspberry Sauce on twelve dessert plates. Place cheesecake wedges atop sauce on plates. If desired, garnish with fresh raspberries and fresh mint leaves.

Raspberry Sauce:  Place 2 cups fresh raspberries in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve; discard seeds.

*Test Kitchen Tip: Be sure to use a brand of yogurt that contains no gums, gelatin, or fillers. These ingredients may prevent the whey from separating from the curd to make yogurt cheese.

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

healthy living~ home-made summer skin care recipes

    Summers are back with a bang...and so are countless summer skin woes! – summers are notorious for ruining our skin. But you don't have to fret!
    Take a heart and beat the heat this summer, maintaining your beauty and keeping your skin soft, supple and well nourished with these home-made summer skin care recipes...

Tired of the tan?
       When wearing your summery dress becomes next to impossible thanks to changes in your skin tone due to excessive tanning, these natural bleaching agents can be used thrice a week to cleanse your face and body ...

1. Summer facial bleach
     Ingredients: 4 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp lemon juice.
~Mix all the ingredients and apply the mixture evenly on the tanned areas for 15 minutes. Once dried, wash with cold water. Works best for greasy and oily skin.

2. Yogurt and honey cleanser
    Ingredients : 4 tbsp plain yogurt, 2 tbsp honey, 3 tbsp lime juice
~Mix all the ingredients. Add a little cornstarch if you think the paste needs thickening. Apply on your face and massage for 2-3 minutes. Rinse with cold water.

For an all- natural exfoliation...
       Excessive heat added with dry winds, overheat the body and it's the face that suffers the most. The delicate tissues get damaged and the outer layer of the skin bears dirt deposits in the clogged pores leading to an excessively rough, wrinkled and dry skin. A quick and easy session of exfoliation is all that you need in case of such beauty emergencies!

1. Oatmeal exfoliating scrub
    Ingredients: 1 tsp fine oatmeal, 1 tsp baking soda
~Mix the ingredients in enough water to make a thick paste. Rub over face for 2-3 minutes, rinse and pat dry. It's suitable for all skin types.

2. Curd and gram flour scrub
    Ingredients: 1 tspn gram flour, 1 tspn lemon juice, 2-3 mint leaves, toned curd, a small piece of grated carrot
~Mix all the ingredients to form a past and apply on your face. Rub in round motions to clean the deep rooted impurities.

Get the glow back...
       Your face seems to have lost its lustre? Well, here's all that you can do to get back your lost sheen and make your face smooth, soft and fresh like never before in just 20 minutes...

1. Home spa recipe
     Ingredients: Pineapple pulp, grapeseed oil, papaya pulp, mulethi and turmeric
~Mix all the ingredients to make a paste. Now apply a generous amount of the mixture on face and neck leaving the eyes. Let it dry and rinse with fresh water.

Tone it up!
       Apart from regular bleaching, cleansing, scrubbing and exfoliation, your skin requires bouts of toning during the summer season. So, instead of depending upon chemical-based toners, here's a natural toner...

Find an aloe-vera plant in your vicinity. Now, just break a leaf, break it into two and use the extract or the juice mixed with natural rose water for best skin protection from tanning and clogging. This also helps to overcome the skin allergies, rashes and itching.

Monday, June 25, 2012

interesting brain workout

Today is a day for sharing, my thoughts (about left vs right handedness) and some more pictures of the ranch. There weren’t many wildflowers blooming yet, here are the early bloomers. It has been so dry this year that I am not sure just how prolific our meadows will be this summer & fall when it is usually abloom with flowers. 

It has been interesting dealing with my left (dominate) hand and thumb bundled up in a cast.  A tiny voice in my head keeps whispering “learning moment” okay what is it that I am supposed to learn? 

 1. Not to do again, what I did to fracture my hand.

 2. strengthening my left-brain too do things that my right-brain usually takes care of…such as writing.  I’ll take that brain activity, as we age we need to fire up those receptors that may get lazy in our brains.  And it has been interesting.  I use my left hand probably 97% of my day~ until now.

I am finding that some of the things I am now performing with my right hand is or feels backwards.  It isn’t but, it sure feels like it. Have some fun one day and bundle up your dominated hand and then go through the rest of the day without using it… it is interesting.

Try getting dressed…a bra? ^%$#! That one is really interesting, especially if you are slightly wet.  Thinking it would be easy to slip, snaps intact, over my head. My poor boobs were scrunched & cockeyed until I dried off enough to work the bottom (one handed mind you) around to the “just right” position. Shoe tying…opps, glad I have slip on shoes and some pull on pants that will be my wardrobe for a while.

Cooking… I needed to stir some cornbread batter…yea right! I leaned the bowl against the counter and tried stirring with my right hand- which just wasn’t sure how to do that because it usually held the bowl not stirred—that was the left hand’s job.  Needless to say I got the batter stirred on the second batch, after I cleaned up the other off the floor-need I say more, just picture it. But the major task bender was now you have to scoop the thick gooey batter from the bowl into the baking dish- OMG, I did it but it was with some ethereal magical help I am sure.

Eating... Ha! If it is finger food only requiring one hand…it’s a go, if not it is difficult. Whenever I use a fork or spoon it feels totally backwards. The first couple of times I found myself not sure how to bring the food to my lips once I even figured out how to get it on the spoon. It is curious how the mind works- why did it feel so backwards, as if I was thinking in mirrored imagery.  And then there’s that tasty steak in front of you …how do you get it into bite sized pieces? ”Steve….help…” J

Writing… now that is perhaps the most important task to overcome because I am planning on returning to work this week, and I do have a fair amount of writing I must do. Typing, I have worked out with 5 fingers on my right and 1 on my left and can get pretty fast. I practiced writing with my right hand…it did get better but I think I wrote better at 2 years old. But alas, life has taken pity on me and my hand has stopped hurting, the swelling finally has gone done enough for me to print letters rather decently holding the pen between the two middle fingers of my left hand.  

I may be able to do this. “Just take off work….” some would say.  “Nawh, not my style.”

One thing I will say that over the past week I have gained a better understanding and more respect for those who lack opposing thumbs, or even two arms/hands. 
panoramic of one of the many beautiful aspen groves on the ranch

Sunday, June 24, 2012

i luv mushrooms

and i luv photographing them... 
perhaps a faerie hides in the shadows

Friday, June 22, 2012

aspen catkins- the willows

there are literally hundreds of aspens on the ranch
and they are in bloom right now with their catkins, thus:
aspen willow ranch

Thursday, June 21, 2012

dirty car, fire, and my cast

Just thought it would be fun to show an update on everything

Look how dirty my usually bright red car was from traveling on the dirt roads to our ranch; it’s clean now thanks to the guys at the Anaheim Canyon Car wash, it’s squeaky clean inside and out.

The fire. The red “X” is our ranch, and the fire is obvious- about 8 miles away, and moving away from us, also has to cross the Platt river, which is very low at the moment. As of this morning the fire had burned over 900 acres and was 32% contained, it will be sad to drive through that beautiful area for a while. For those interested, it is called the “springer fire.”

My hand …. surprising how swollen and blue it still is after a week… the ortho techs at the cast clinic chose a “purple” cast to match the colors of my fingers…ha-ha! Actually I like purple; perhaps I’ll do yellow or green when it gets changed in a couple of weeks.    
so sad :(

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

meal ideas~ tomatoes

We only have two more power foods to go. Tomatoes are one of my favorite snack foods—I love grape tomatoes, pop one in the mouth and wait for that burst of excitement.

Tomatoes ~

The tomato is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium and is rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is easier for your body to absorb from cooked and processed tomatoes, such as tomato juice, than from fresh, whole tomatoes. According to Healing Gourmet: Eat to Beat Diabetes (McGraw-Hill, 2006), adding a little bit of oil while sauteing or cooking tomatoes can help aid in lycopene absorption.

Studies suggest lycopene-rich tomato products may help protect against certain types of cancer, including prostate cancer, and may offer cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory protection.

Check the Nutrition Facts food labels on packaged and canned tomato products to find those with the least sodium and sugar. Also, make sure you choose tomato sauce. The American Diabetes Association points out that tomato sauce is different than pasta or spaghetti sauces, which are categorized under starchy vegetables.

Basil-Garlic Tomatoes
Make this recipe ahead and then chill until serving time. This makes a great fresh side dish or appetizer in the summer. 4 servings CARBS: 4
2 tablespoons light dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
1 tablespoon light cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
16 cherry tomatoes (about 8 ounces total), halved
Cracked black pepper (optional)

1. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, basil, cream cheese, and garlic. Stir until well mixed.

2. Place sour cream mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag; seal bag. Pipe a small amount of the sour cream mixture onto the cut side of each tomato half. If desired, sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Makes 4 (8 tomato halves) servings.

Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed in step 1. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Continue as directed in step 2.

Smoky Tomato Pizza
Smoked Gouda and fresh herbs add a sophisticated flair to this tomato-topped pizza 16 servings CARBS:16

1 16 ounce loaf frozen whole wheat bread dough, thawed
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
6 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 small red onion, cut into very thin wedges and separated into strips
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or oregano
1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese (2 ounces)

1. On a lightly floured surface divide dough into two portions. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each dough portion into a 10- to 12-inch circle. Grease two extra-large baking sheets; sprinkle with cornmeal. Transfer dough circles to baking sheets. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 5 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven; place on wire racks to cool.

2. Meanwhile, stir together olive oil and crushed red pepper; brush onto the crusts. Top with mozzarella cheese. Layer with the tomato slices and onion. Sprinkle basil and rosemary over tomatoes. Top with cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until mozzarella cheese is melted and pizza crusts are golden brown. Cut each pizza into 8 wedges to serve. Makes 16 servings.

I also use pita bread for a wonderful quick pizza shell, cut a slit in the side and stuff it with some spinach and cheese for an extra special crust.

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

nestlings on the ranch

 There is a small cabin near the main house on the ranch, which one day will be my studio for weaving, crafts, and homemade products,  I.e. - lip balm/bath stuff. Right now we call it the MC for mountain cottage (so named by our British friend Eileen of T & V stables)
It is perfect, easy to winterize, so we stay in it when we visit and can leave the main house buttoned-up. This last trip I was so excited to find under the deck cover a nest. It took Steve and I a couple of days to really figure out just what kind of bird was sitting there patiently waiting for her babies to hatch. Finally after the hatching the proud papa came around to help out and it was confirmed- an American Robin. One afternoon, while both parents were off getting some food, Steve was able to take a peek in the nest and get a wonderful photo.

the house and barn, which is Steve's sanctuary to do as he pleases, and believe me all the men that see the barn think he got the better deal, ha! are near the MC, but I  can't seem to get a pic with all three at once unless I'm so far away you can't see them... :(

Monday, June 18, 2012

oh %*&^$! life attacks again

hi everyone - sorry for not posting for a couple of days, have had quite unusual events here. I fell and broke my hand.... :(  we headed home yesterday.... long 17 hour drive.. and when we got home, found out there is a huge fire about 2 miles from the ranch. fret not, we are okay. All should be well, the winds will hopefully keep blow'n away from the ranch. give me a few days to get things together and  get all the fantastic photos off the cameras to post. and also, learn how to type with a cast....ha! Yes, it was my dominate hand.......

Thursday, June 14, 2012

aspen willow ranch, colorado

this is a post from direct from the ranch in colorado- via my iPad, how cool is this. new to the iPad world I found a really cool "app" that is for posting to a blog or website from your iPad. if you go to jesse's blog BernerTails (click his pic on the sidebar) you'll see his adventures.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

meal ideas- tea


The next time you pour yourself a cup of white, green, or black tea, you could be doing your health a favor. Tea contains antioxidant-rich flavonoids, called catechins, which have been studied for their effectiveness in preventing chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, says nutritionist Jeannette Jordan.

There are various types of teas from all over the world, and many are sold ground in tea bags or as loose-leaf varieties.

Fun tea facts: White tea is the highest in antioxidants, with green coming in second, followed by oolong tea, then black tea, according to Mike Feller, co-owner of Gong Fu Tea in Des Moines. This is because of each tea's degree of oxidation--the less it is oxidized, the higher the antioxidants and the lower the caffeine.

Tea can be enjoyed either hot or cold. If you prefer decaf, Feller suggests this technique: Steep regular tea for 30 seconds, then pour it out. Steep the tea leaves or tea bag again for 3 to 5 minutes, then drink. This natural, chemical-free decaffeinating process removes 80 percent of the caffeine, which is released in the first 30 seconds.

Ruby Red Winter Iced Tea
White tea is slightly sweeter than green or black tea, either of which can be substituted to make this low-calorie ruby-red winter iced tea drink.
MAKES: 12 servings : 8 ounce CARBS: 9
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
8 bags Red Zinger herb tea
12 cups brewed white tea*
Ice cubes
12 fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)

1. For syrup, in a small saucepan stir together the sugar and water; add tea bags. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture just comes to boiling. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Carefully remove tea bags, gently squeezing to remove liquid.

2. Divide brewed white tea between two, 2-quart pitchers. Divide syrup between pitchers. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours or until chilled. Serve over ice with a rosemary sprig as a stirring stick, if desired.

*TO BREW 12 CUPS WHITE TEA: If using loose tea, divide 1/2 cup (about 1-1/2 ounces) tea between two large tea balls. Place tea balls, or 12 tea bags, in a large heatproof bowl or pitcher. Cover with 12 cups boiling water. Allow to stand 4 minutes. Remove tea ball or bags. Cool before refrigerating.

Slow Cooker Spiced Fruit Tea
 8 servings/ 6 ounce ea. CARBS: 14
6 inches stick cinnamon, broken*
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, chopped
4 cups brewed black tea
4 cups orange-peach-mango juice or orange juice
1 cup dried fruit, such as dried peaches, apricots, and/or pears
Orange slices

1. For spice bag, cut a 6- or 8-inch square from a double thickness of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Place cinnamon and ginger in center of cheesecloth square. Bring corners of cheesecloth together and tie with clean cotton string.

2. In a 3-1/2- to 4-1/2-quart slow cooker combine tea and juice. Add dried fruit and spice bag to tea mixture in slow cooker.

3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 3 hours. Discard spice bag and dried fruit. Ladle tea into cups. Float an orange slice in each cup. If desired, sweeten to taste

* To break cinnamon sticks, place in a heavy plastic bag and gently pound sticks with a meat mallet.

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

healthy living~ portion size+exercise=right size

Many times I have said that if we all ate as if we were diabetics this society would not have the health issues it has: even including the ones that our food additive chemicals cause. That in itself is a whole other matter and posting.

I recently changed positions at Kaiser, went from a very active job in the ER to an almost no activity in the hospital. Everyone, including me, thought I would gain weight, lots of it. But...we were wrong, I actually have lost weight. I did lessen my food intake by 200 calories a day, mostly from no more stress eating. Now, everyone is asking what diet I am on, what I am doing...etc. well, actually...I stopped dieting. Yep. A couple of years ago Steve and I decided the best way to lose weight and keep it off was this simple rule-

portion size + plus exercise = you the right size

Portion size--This concept is not new by any means; Steve and I eat using salad plates instead of a dinner plates. We put what we are going to eat on our plate (using the plate method for what goes on it) and DO NOT go back for seconds- period! Okay, we do have those special days when we indulge, however they are few and far between. 

So like you've heard before- "stop the madness," stop giving billions of dollars to the weight-loss industry, stop trying every "lose weight fast gimmick," - stop the pills and drinks, and the “toy diet” foods and follow the simple "portion size, exercise, right size" method. If it is high in calories, eat a smaller portion.  Look on packages and see what a portion size really is. I bet you eat three to four portions of an item. Most Americans do- they have got to have that 12oz steak over the healthy and normal 4oz portion.

At work everyone sees my containers for my dinners and says “oh my, look how cute.” And then, asks “how can you eat so little...". I say, "I am eating a proper portion. How can you eat so much?" They usually reply, "I could never survive with that little amount." and I just smile and think...."no, you are not going survive long or healthily eating the way you do." like you've heard before- "stop dieting," and follow the simple "portion size, exercise, right size" method. Yes, there are some great ...eating plans “diets” out there. One I highly recommend, especially if you have high blood pressure is the "DASH DIET." Bottom line, follow this and you will be healthy.

Exercise-- you don't have to go to gym, pay for expensive equipment, or even nearly kill yourself exercising. Simple walking, 3 mph, for 20 to 30 minutes (best part, it can be broken into three, 10 minute segments per day) has proven the absolute most effective way to prevent high blood pressure, control diabetes, and lose weight. I am serious!  Now add a 5-10 minute "free weight" session a couple of times a week for that extra toning- and whalla, you've got a healthy plan that is doable and will stick with you. Fear the boredom of walking...?  Get a dog, borrow a dog. Our bernese mountain dog, Jesse, is the personal trainer for our walks.

A favorite exercise DVD program for those times when I can't get outside or need a change is Leslie Sansone's  "walk away the pounds" programs. They are fun, you walk in front of your computer, TV, DVD player---- and you lose nothing but weight!!!!!.

I have also recently purchased a treadmill, what I like about this is... I can hook up my iPad, put on Netflix, (presently watching the series~ Robin Hood) 42 minutes of entertainment; and the treadmill has dual speakers that actually let me hear without having to wear headphones!

A couple of great books that I think everyone should read and have in their "health" arsenal. Even if you do not have any issues, you should read these and be aware of what options you have to some medicines or life styles.

DIABETES without drugs -- this is an outstanding book. Even a friend of mine who is a hardcore researcher when it comes to medical issues said that this was one of the best diabetes books she has read in ages. It is not your standard book about diabetes, but it covers the supplements, their reactions to your body, and how prescription drugs "muddle" the effects of nutrients in your system. It is a worthy book to read and study for all lifestyles and health issues, not just diabetes. It is written by a pharmacist.

LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL in 4weeks. Okay, now normally I would have passed this book up thinking -- oh no not another do this in so many days- but it was recommended to me by the Pharmacist at Kaiser when I told her that my ever taking a Statin Drug was not going to happen.  Along with other suggestions for lowering my cholesterol naturally, she said it was basic information- and as it turns out, this book is a good reference.

so, begin today and be the "Right Size!"

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

i dedicate...

all our wildlife friends are doing great- the young yearling bears are fine and making territories for themselves, the adult "cubless" ladies are being courted by the males, and this year's cubs are growing quickly. The Decorah "teengles" are wingersizing, hopping, looking at the branches beyond the nest rail, thinking real hard about the next leap of faith. even little Siku is happy and growing into a beautiful polar bear.
              with all well in the wild lands, i would like to take a moment for the domestic realm...

i dedicate this day for all those homeless little ones out there--

go beyond this day and see what you can do everyday for our friends

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

meal ideas ~ soy

Soy ~

I have just recently explored soybeans as a part of my vege-bag for my work lunches. I have cooked with tofu in the past, not with much long term success; but the beans..oh yea, this I can live with. Munching them is a treat.

Soy, often used as a substitute for animal products, soy is an excellent power food to incorporate in your diet, even if you aren't a vegetarian. Soy can be eaten in whole bean form, such as baby green soybeans called edamame, which is the highest in protein. Other soy products include soy milk or cheese, tofu, soy nuts, or vegetarian meatless products.

Soy is also a source of niacin, folate, zinc, potassium, iron, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a fatty acid that can be converted into omega-3 fatty acids, known to help lower cholesterol. All of these nutrients serve important functions in the body:

Niacin is a B vitamin that aids in converting food into energy.
Folate may help lower homocysteine levels linked to heart disease.
Zinc, found naturally in foods or supplemented in foods or vitamins, may be lower in people with diabetes and may help improve immune function and wound healing, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.

Potassium may help lower blood pressure and is essential for the water balance between the cells and body fluids, such as electrolyte balance, according to the American Heart Association.
Iron oxygenates the blood and body and helps keep a healthy immune system.
Check with a health-care professional before increasing potassium intake if you have kidney complications or kidney disease.

Serving sizes depend on whether soy is consumed in food or drink. Read the food label for specific serving sizes on individual items.

Udon Noodles with Tofu
An Asian-style dressing is tossed with the tofu, vegetables and noodles in this vegetarian meal. And it's quick--just 25 minutes to prepare. MAKES: 6 servings: 1 1/4 cup CARBS: 39
8 ounces dried udon noodles or whole wheat linguine
2 6 - 8 ounce packages smoked teriyaki-flavored or plain firm tofu (fresh bean curd), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
1 large carrot, cut into thin bite-size pieces
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 recipe Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette**

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tofu, cucumber, carrot, and green onion. Add drained pasta; toss gently to mix.

3. Drizzle Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette onto cooked pasta mixture. Toss salad gently to coat.  Cover and chill for up to 6 hours.

**Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar or cider vinegar, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper

Crispy Tofu and Vegetables
Tofu gets its crunch from a cornmeal coating in this easy vegetarian main dish recipe. MAKES: 4 servings CARBS: 15

1 12 - 16 oz package light, reduced-fat, or regular extra-firm tub-style tofu (fresh bean curd), drained
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 cups fresh snow pea pods (8 oz)
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 medium red sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium yellow sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
8 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon white or black sesame seed, toasted (optional)

1. Cut tofu crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Pour 2 tablespoons of the teriyaki sauce over tofu; turn slices to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. Remove strings and tips from pea pods; cut in half. Set pea pods aside. In a shallow dish combine cornmeal and ground red pepper. Drain tofu, discarding marinade. Carefully dip tofu slices in cornmeal mixture; press gently to coat both sides. Set tofu slices aside.

3. Pour 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil into a large nonstick skillet. Preheat over medium-high heat. Stir-fry sweet pepper strips for 2 minutes. Add pea pods and green onions; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes more or until crisp-tender.

4. Remove skillet from heat; stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce. Transfer vegetable mixture to a serving platter; cover and keep warm. Wipe skillet clean.

5. In the same skillet heat the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and the cooking oil over medium heat. Cook the coated tofu slices for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden brown, using a spatula to turn carefully. Serve tofu slices over vegetable mixture. If desired, sprinkle with sesame seed.

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