Gourmet Foods For Every Occasion

Enjoying fine food is definitely one of the pleasures of life. There is so much fast food and bland tasting dishes today because of the lack of time to really prepare food right, that when you do get to enjoy gourmet fine food, it’s a special treat.

So what makes any food or drink qualify to be called “gourmet”?

Well, in general it means that a particular food or drink is considered above average in quality, and will appeal even to those who have the most discriminating tastes. It also usually means that a lot of time and effort has gone into it’s preparation too.

What comes to mind when you think of gourmet foods? Here is a list of many fine foods and beverages that can be found in the gourmet food category:

1. Coffees – Gourmet coffees include many exotic coffee blends from around the world and flavored coffees. Frequently you can get a nice mixture of various gourmet coffees that allow you to sample them before buying more of each kind.

2. Teas – There are several specialty teas from all over the world that qualify to be called gourmet tea.They can be either green, black, oolong or herbal teas. Again, you can often get sampler packs of these exotic teas to try them out first.

3. Chocolates – Whether milk, dark or white chocolate,gourmet chocolate assortments often come with fruit, nuts, and cream centers that are just incredibly delicious.

4. Caviar – If you really want to taste the good life, enjoy any of the various kinds of caviar, from the American Golden to the Russian Dark variety. Of course this is one type of gourmet food that can get really pricey fast, but there is a caviar for pretty much any budget if you look carefully enough.

5. Seafood – There are lots of seafoods that have been specially prepared as gourmet foods including smoked herring, oysters, shrimp and lobster rolls and bisques. There’s lots more in this category too and again you can often get samplers for taste testing in advance.

6. Fish – Some of the favorite gourmet fish foods are salmon, tuna, and halibut.

7. Meats – This is one of the largest gourmet categories and lately has become very popular. Entries in this field include ribs, roasts, steaks, and even some dried and cured meats.

8. Poultry – There are any number of gourmet foods prepared with chicken, but duck and turkey is also top favorites for special dishes.

So where can you use gourmet foods? Almost any special occasion is a good time to include gourmet foods, drinks, or desserts on the menu. Everything from intimate dinners for two to large social gatherings are all acceptable places to include the delicious taste of gourmet foods to help make that occasion truly special and unforgettable.

Is Junk Food Good For Your Health

Do you like to eat junk food? If you are like me, then you like them very much. Most of them are very tasty and it is really hard to resist them. They are found almost everywhere. But eating excessive junk foods is a food habit that you should really get rid of as early as possible. Why? Before knowing why you should avoid them you should understand what foods can be classified as junk foods.

What are Junk foods?

The foods which have little or no nutrient value can be classified as junk foods. These foods contain very low amount of vitamin, mineral and protein but high amount of calories from fat or sugar. Generally they are highly processed and contain higher amount of fat, sugar, salt and lower amount of fiber. Some of them also contain preservatives and artificial colors. Some popular and well known junk foods are: fast foods, potato crisps, french fries, sauces, salted snacks, chips, very sweet dessert items and carbonated beverage items.

Some Junk Food Facts

You need to know some facts to understand whether these kinds of foods are good or bad for us. Without giving you some facts it would not be easy for me to make you understand the effects of eating these kinds of foods. Now, let’s know some facts about junk foods.

1. Artificial colors and preservatives: Many junk foods contain artificial color and preservatives which do no good for our body, rather they act like poison. Sweden’s National Food Administration is a government food safety agency. With their cooperation a research was carried out at Stockholm University. The research showed that baking or frying carbohydrate-rich foods, such as potatoes or cereals, formed acrylamide. International Agency for Research on Cancer, found that acrylamide induces gene mutations. It is also known to cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous system.

2. Lower amount of nutrients: Most of the junk foods have very low nutritional ingredients like protein, vitamin and minerals rather they contain higher amount of fats, sugar, salt. They are also very low in fiber.By eating too much junk food we are giving our body only carbohydrate and depriving it from the other nutrients. Therefore, in return our body will also deprive us from a healthy physical condition.

3. Higher potential of suffering from health problems: If you are habituated to eat junk foods almost everyday or very regularly you are sure to be an overweight or obese person unless you do a good amount of physical work everyday. There is absolutely no doubt about that. This overweight or obesity will lead you to some serious health problems like heart diseases, joint problems, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes. Besides those serious problems they are also responsible for faster tooth decay, constipation, problems related to digestion and tiredness.

4. Junk foods are a real threat for the children and younger age groups: If your children eat too much junk foods, then you should really control their food habit. Because if they eat too much junk food they will eat fewer amount of nutrient foods. This in turn will not ensure proper nutrition for their proper growth and they will suffer from tooth decay, loose bones and gaining overweight in earlier ages of their lives. Junk foods contribute lack of enthusiasm, headaches, tummy aches and poor concentrations to children

In context of the above mentioned facts I think I will be safe to say that, junk foods are bad for our health. My dear friends, I know it will be hard for many people to eliminate junk foods from the daily food list. For our busy daily routines many of us have become so much dependent on them that they would not try to think about not eating these foods. Most of them are easily available and easy to carry. But, considering the side effects you should at least take some fewer amounts of them from now on. Junk foods act like slow poison in our body. It is hard for you to feel the negative effects of junk foods overnight. But, if they are in your food list almost everyday or very regularly then you will definitely observe some negative effects on your body. Only the time to observe the effects may vary from person to person. Therefore it is up to you to make the choice. I hope you will do the best for your body.

Achieve Your Diet and Fat Loss Goals Faster

Food – none of us can go without it! But how does the way in which we think about food impact our diet? Are you someone who just sees food as body fuel, or do the different tastes, textures and nutritional values of food excite you? In today’s health conscious world, I would think that most of us fall into the latter group. If you want to achieve your diet goals quicker, then you need to clearly understand you relationship with food.

Eat and Burn

In its simplest form, food gives our body the calories it needs to run on a daily basis. When there are too few calories, the body looks to its own reserves. When there are too many calories, the body puts them away in storage (i.e. as body fat). On a purely mathematical level, so long as we burn as much as we consume, we are not going to produce excess body fat. So yes it is possible to eat junk food and stay thin but we also know that what food we eat can be as important as how much food we eat.

Food Fanatics

Not all foods are created equal. It would be nonsense to say that a caramel flapjack and an organic apple containing the same number of calories are of equal health benefit. At the ‘eat and burn’ basic level then yes they might provide our body with the same number of calories but substance is surely just as important. We have all learned that the organic apple is bursting with healthy goodness, whilst the flapjack will be laden with sugar and other nutritional nastiness.

The food world has gone crazy over the past few years. Every other program on television is a cooking program. But why are we so obsessed? It is just body fuel at the end of the day…

I have to admit, I am a modern day ‘foodie’. I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen and I strongly believe in the health benefits of natural food. In my eyes, there is nothing wrong with this, food has the fantastic ability of making us happy so let’s take advantage. However, you need to be aware of your root relationship with food. There is definitely a risk of obsessing over food. Such obsession may manifest itself as punishing yourself for eating ‘junk’ food, a lifetime of calorie counting, or possibly worse. We each have unique relationships with food and to get the most from food we should strip away the layers and get to the bottom of what and why. Why did you have to eat popcorn whilst watching that movie yesterday evening? Why did you have to drink alcohol when socialising last week? It is good to sit back and think about our food choices so we understand why we made them and can enjoy those choices instead of feeling guilty about them!

Strategies to Avoid Food Obsession and Achieve Your Diet Goals

As we are dependent upon food for survival, all of us have a relationship with food.

Here are a few ideas to help you find out, change, and nurture your food relationship.

  • Make a Black, Grey, White list of foods you commonly eat. Black for the least healthy, White for the most. Then keep it in your kitchen, making sure that your cupboards are full of those foods on the White list (typically fresh fruit, vegetables, unsalted nuts and seeds, whilst trying to cut out those on the Black list (basically anything processed containing sugar, as well as alcohol and if you follow the Paleo diet, then all grains too). To take things further, you can keep a score board to measure how many food items from each colour group you are eating – monitoring your results forces the truth upon you, so there is nowhere to hide!
  • Work out what type of food personality you are. Do this by clearly identifying what you enjoy about food. For me, I know that eating healthily will make me feel happy but so does the odd treat. I have a soft spot for beer and ice cream (not together though!), so I indulge in these things every now and again. It may be that you enjoy a certain type of cuisine, or need to eat every two hours. Being aware of your food personality will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in your diet, which you can then address sensibly instead of obsessively.
  • Be wise about food availability – possibly the most important factor in keeping a healthy diet is to always have the healthy food readily to hand. Most people resort to less healthy foods because they are so accessible. A little bit of effort on your part and healthy food can be fast food in any hectic lifestyle. Prepare your healthy food in advance and keep stock levels high (i.e. always have fresh fruit and vegetables at the ready).
  • Equally, if it isn’t in your house in the first place then you can’t eat it! If you don’t have very strong willpower, avoid the lethal step of bringing junk foods into your home. Too often I have picked things up and thought it would be saved for a rainy day but the evenings are full of temptation and before you know it that treat is in your belly. I know that keeping sweet food in the house can undo my healthy eating, so it’s best kept out most of the time.

Free Your Food, Do Not Trap it with Rules

The key to making healthy eating a lifestyle choice and not a short term diet is to make it fun and enjoyable, not boring and burdensome! I think adopting a ‘rule free’ food psychology is more realistic than to simply ban certain foods altogether. To be truthful, we all fall off the healthy eating bandwagon. In my eyes, this can be a good thing providing that you that you do enjoy your treats (e.g. cake) that you consume otherwise what is the point!? Don’t worry and just get right back on track instead of dwelling on that junk food.

Please find more information about the ability of food to change your mood on my website, where I have given examples of foods that could help you achieve your diet goals.

Luke Moghaddas-Davies – A fitness enthusiast who has trained for over 12 years and believes everyone should take ownership of their health and achieve their fitness goals – no excuses! By making healthy living more realistic, and for me that means ‘rule free’, I know how to stay lean and fit for life not just for summer!

Plenty of Reasons to Love Krups Coffee Makers

When it comes to coffee makers, Krups coffee makers are the cream of the crop. Krups coffee makers can be found in a large number of kitchens and offices around the world. Krups has made sure that homemakers and coffee lovers will find many reasons to prefer their products over others.

And the best reason they found? A much more affordable price for their coffee makers. Bearing the weapon of a more affordable price tag, Krups coffee makers went into the market and conquered large chunks of it. Coffee lovers looking for their ultimate coffee making companion and those who want to have good cups of coffee at home will definitely love the reasonably-priced Krups coffee makers.

Why You’ll Love Krups Coffee Makers

If you are wondering whether Krups coffee makers are worth buying, here are some reasons why they most certainly are. First of all, coffee makers manufactured by Krups are made entirely for the purpose of brewing excellent-tasting coffee that can perk up your mornings, boost your energy when you need it, and nurture your love for coffee.

The result is always good coffee with a strong, natural flavoring. If you have a Krups coffee maker, then that means you can brew your perfect cup anytime. And what will this perfect cup cost you? Not much, if Krups has anything to do about it. Krups coffee makers are among the most comfortable coffee brewing products around.

Their products are all priced just right, so anyone who loves coffee don’t have to worry about the price. By appealing to the part of the market that’s more budget-conscious, these coffee makers sure provided a way for everyone to enjoy brewing their own coffee. And if good coffee now does not cost that much for your pocket, it certainly does not cost much effort in making as well, especially with Krups coffee makers in the picture. Coffee makers with the Krups brand on it are synonymous to fast and easy coffee making without the hassle. They are very user-friendly and can be operated with the least amount of effort from you.

These smart coffee makers can come up with the perfect blend of coffee without your assistance. Coffee making is not impossible even without coffee makers. In fact, you can make coffee without these machines like people in history did.

But coffee makers are around to make life so much easier for you and to make coffee making a breeze. So why buy a coffee maker that you’d have to exert a lot of effort operating? Better buy a Krups coffee maker, sit back, let the machine do what it does best, and enjoy your perfect cup of freshly brewed coffee afterwards.

Complete Your Coffee Experience

Krups coffee makers can complete your coffee making and coffee drinking experience with the help of several great features on their coffee makers. Coffee makers from Krups are quite advanced. They come with automatic brewing timers, built-in water filters for pure coffee taste, and pause function for instant coffee servings anytime. Also, some models can brew coffee within minutes, and some can brew for a lot of people all at once.

Krups coffee makers even come with filters that keep your coffee not just tasting great but smelling wonderfully as well. Since half of the magic of coffee lies in its soothing and tempting aroma, you can be sure that you get every part of your coffee experience with Krups. So if you are in the market for a coffee maker that can offer durability, affordability, efficiency, and great coffee, you have only one brand to go to, and that’s Krups.

Buy a Case of Ramen to Begin a Food Storage Program

Food storage and emergency preparedness have been buzz words for decades among people who are trying to be prepared for whatever the future may bring. There are companies which provide elaborate plans and programs to help people buy the food they need in order to sustain themselves and their families during emergencies or natural disasters.

Most people will never personally experience a devastating act of nature which will immediately change their lives and cause them to need to use their food storage. However, many families will have personal tragedies strike such as illness or loss of a job which may cause them to rely on food which they have stored for a rainy day.

Several home based businesses have sprung up in the food storage and emergency preparedness arena. If people are interested in food storage, there are ways to earn money by working from home in these businesses. Several companies provide a network marketing and direct sales opportunity. People who have a passion for preparedness may find a lucrative business by sharing the knowledge and products with friends and neighbors.

Complete devastation from such natural disasters as the earthquake a year ago in Haiti may not have been able to take advantage of personal food storage if there had been any. However, for most people food storage is a means of feeling some security in their day to day lives with the knowledge that they are prepared in case of an emergency.

Ramen is a hot noodle dish which is popular in Japanese culture and among many Americans as it has become readily available in a packaged form which is simple and easy to prepare. Indeed, many high school and college students almost live on ramen. Although it is not as inexpensive when served in restaurants, it is a cheap meal which can be tasty and filling when made at home from the packaged instant variety.

There are several different brands of ramen available in grocery stores. Fancier types of packaged noodles may also be found. They are convenient and easy to prepare. An extremely simple and inexpensive way to get started with a food storage program is to buy a case of ramen or several cases. With the price per package sometimes as low as ten cents, a case of twenty-four packages can be less than $3.00. You may find that your family enjoys it and uses it as a staple for their diet or as an after school snack.

Food storage is a good idea for every family. An effective program may be started for only $50 a month. Whether it is done on a serious basis with a plan or just being prepared with food for a few days, it is wise to have some extra food stored. If you are interested in a feeling of security, check it out and get started. Getting into a home based business may be another way of being prepared.

The Consequences of Food

Nourishment is key to good health. Unfortunately, many of us only think we are eating healthily. Consider milk, for instance. Humans are the only beings who drink milk after being weaned from our mother and even drink milk from another species. The pasteurization process destroys the vitamins and nutrients in the original product, so we then add artificial vitamins. We call this “fortified”.

There are a number of concerns with processed foods. In order to provide the consumer with a long shelf life, chemicals are added to the foods. Chemical additives are also added for color, consistency, taste and more. The problem is, the effects of most of these additives are yet unknown. Some of the synthetic chemicals used in processed foods are known to have carcinogenic properties. Processed meats such as hot dogs and bologna are particularly dangerous. (more…)

How To Properly Serve Delicious Peanut Butter Bread

PRESENTING bread, it seems easy but it turns out there are wrong ways. This includes making peanut butter.
Well, for those of you who want to get the flavor and aroma of peanut butter, it’s good hatikan following tips, as reported Bonappetit:

Use whole wheat bread
To get the flavor and texture of peanut butter bread, use whole wheat bread. In addition to healthy, whole grain bread will make peanut butter feels soft when consumed.

Select the best peanut butter
Another factor is the peanut butter. In order to find a good taste, you should not hesitate to choose the best peanut butter, which according to taste.

Do not be stacked
One way is often done when serving bread, especially when traveling far. To get a good flavor and texture, not again accumulate bread. With stacked, the appearance of bread will be ugly.

Pair with fruit jam
If you want to give a different taste of peanut butter on the bread, you can play in it sense. Do not hesitate to do so. Could give strawberry jam, pineapple, or other fruit jam.

Obey Your Food Rules

Every modern society has laws or rules that are meant to be followed and obeyed. Things like traffic laws, paying taxes or even rules that govern every sport you can imagine. We all know what happens if we have no rules, right? Yes, chaos ensues and our society begins to fall apart. Yikes! The same thing is true with your fat loss goals. I have always been a firm believer in having what I call “food rules” that govern the way I eat. Remembering that it’s impossible to out train a bad diet, if you obey your food rules it is easier to stay on track and make sure that you are only consuming foods that are taking you closer to your goals, not farther away from them. (more…)

The Skinny on Weight Loss With Spicy Food

A lot of people are becoming fascinated with different ways to lose weight, and one of them is weight loss with spicy food. At first, weight loss with spicy food may sound a little ridiculous. You may even think eating spicy foods won’t do any wonders for your body. However, before we take spicy foods for granted, let us take a look at their features.

Spicy culture

Spicy food has always been included in various menus of different cultures all over the world. Spices like chili powder, cayenne peppers, and curry powder never fail to add some flavor and kick to any dish. However, is there such thing as weight loss with spicy food in your diet with the help of these and other spices?

How it works

Weight loss with spicy food works simply by raising your metabolism. You do not have to resort to eat a lot of hot peppers until your mouth feels like it is burning. In fact, even a little spice can provide a significant increase in your metabolism.

The truth

Weight loss with spicy food is possible because it increases your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories. This is because the spices increase your body temperature and contributes to an increase in your heart rate, too. Remember that the increase happening in your body temperature and heart rate requires energy.

Thermogenic properties

Spices also have thermogenic properties by helping your body burn calories especially if you are eating high-fat meals. Aside from increasing your body temperature, spices also aid to the increase of your blood circulation. They are also able to stimulate the breaking down of your fat cells, which aids in weight loss.

Some things to consider

Weight loss with spicy food is possible, but you should remember a few things before becoming very convinced. One is the fact that those who eat them do not really rely completely on the food’s influence in their metabolism so they can stay slim. Second, keep in mind that there are certain spices that can provide strong flavors to any dish, which can influence the dish’s rich taste and aroma.

It’s in the flavor

Once your meals receive that strong flavor, you will have the urge to eat less just to feel satisfied. Some spicy foods that have certain spices in them are even healthier compared to foods that solely rely on sugar just to have some flavor. Chicken, shrimp, lentils, and tomatoes are some examples of foods that are usually included in several spicy dishes.

How the flavor works

It is also important to understand that spices enhance flavors of any food, which provides a satisfied feeling to your palate. That feeling will make you eat less, which makes people associate weight loss with spicy food.

Benefits of spices

When it comes to weight loss with spicy food, it is also important for you to consider the benefits that particular spices can contribute to your body. For instance, black pepper works as an antioxidant and as an antibacterial, while cayenne pepper is believed to aid in giving your immune system a boost while clearing congestion. Athletes also eat spicy foods to increase their endurance and treat osteoarthritis.

Improve digestion

Spices also improve your digestion because they increase the hydrochloric secretion of your stomach. That is the reason why your metabolic rate increases. Remember that an increase in your metabolism also increases your body’s absorption rate. The result is that the body can convert the calories into energy so they are not stored as body fat.

Fat buring benefits?

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is shown to have fat burning and appetite reducing capabilities. Some scientists say that cayenne pepper increases your body’s norepinephrine and epinephrine levels, which can cause you to feel less hungry.

Keep everything in moderation

Eating spicy foods can also contribute some negative effects on the body. One is the onset of stomach ulcers. Another is acid reflux or GERD, which is more common with obese people who are trying to lose weight with spicy food. With this in mind, it is important to take spicy foods moderately especially if you have sensitive stomach or you simply have a low tolerance for them.

Test your tolerance

Too much spices can also mess up your digestion, cause some irritation in your digestive tract, and may even impair your tastebuds, which will cause you to not be able to enjoy your food in their usual state. If you want to try spicy foods to aid you in weight loss, try eating small amounts at first to see if you can tolerate them. If you can’t, then do not force yourself.

Raw Food Diet Detox

A diet comprised of 100% uncooked food when used for the purpose of detoxification of the body is referred to as a raw food detox diet. Detoxification or detox refers to the process of elimination of toxins, produced either internally from metabolic wastes or coming from external sources such food and environment, that get accumulated in the body over a period of time, giving rise to a host of diseases.

A raw food detox diet primarily includes vegetarian or vegan foods, though sometimes meat and fish may be allowed too if one can manage to eat them raw. Such a diet promotes the elimination of harmful substances from the body through the body’s excretory organs like kidneys, bowel and skin.

How a raw food diet detox works?

The principle behind a raw food detox diet is the belief that food in its natural uncooked form has all the vital nutrients and enzymes intact, whereas cooking by conventional methods devitalizes the food due to breakdown of these substances. In a sense, raw food is a kind of living food, with a latent life force that under appropriate conditions facilitates germination and growth of a new plant from a seed.

Advocates of the raw food diet detox believe that when the body is fed with foods that are rich in life force, digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, while at the same time being deprived of devitalized and toxin-laden foods, it gets into the self-detoxification and cleansing mode.

What goes wrong during cooking?

When food is heated to temperatures above 117 ºF (47 ºC) for more than a few minutes: (i) a substantial amount of vital digestive enzymes and nutrients get destroyed; (ii) proteins get denatured and coagulated, causing deficiency of many amino acids; (iii) fats when overheated result in the formation of carcinogenic substances.

When the food is cooked in water, the water-soluble minerals get lost due to leaching (even more intensely if one adds salt while cooking), unless one uses the leftover water for gravies or soups. In fact, scientific studies have shown that many of the vegetables lose their antioxidant benefits when boiled or microwaved.

It only gets worse when it comes to ready-to-eat commercially manufactured foods, which may even contain highly detrimental substances like acrylamides. It is for all these reasons that a raw food diet has emerged as the favorite detox diet.