The Food Cooking Show Fascination

The premise is simple. Take a chef, put him or her into the kitchen and watch them prepare their signature dishes. You might think that this would be boring after a bit but the public has proven this wrong.

Food cooking shows are the “in” thing right now. We love the idea of making food and combine it with reality television and suddenly we come back week after week to see what happens next.

Fox Network has uncovered a phenomenon with the cursing antics of Chef Gordon Ramsey. We cringe at his explosive attitude yet are somehow sympathetic at his attempts to turn would-be chefs into professionals.

We might not want to put ourselves on the line of fire but we love watching other contestants wither under his furious stare and tirades. Our kitchens may not be stocked with fois gras but we still take something away from each episode.

Food Network has a reality show titled “Who Wants to Be the Next Food Network Star” where amateur and professional cooks alike are given tasks to perform that somehow weed out the would-be television chefs from the rest.

We root for our favorite contestants as the season progresses until only one contestant remains. He or she is then given a food cooking show of their very own.

What is the fascination with meal preparation shows? Perhaps it is the ease at which dishes are prepared. It might be the professional cookware and charming personality of the hosts.

Some of the most popular meal preparation show hosts is not formally educated at cooking schools. Thus they give us hope that anyone can prepare delectable dishes from the comfort of their own home.

Whatever the reason behind our fascination, these shows has become an integral part of television viewing. As great chefs from the past such as Julia Child pass on, a new generation of friendly, knowledgeable faces comes to the forefront of culinary society.

Perhaps it is the grand showmanship of Emeril LaGasse yelling out “BAM” or Rachel Ray’s cute acronyms such as EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil); we are drawn to our television sets and the expanding culinary world.

As other television networks air cooking shows, especially ones where competition and cut throat antics by the participants are involved, we will continue to avidly watch food cooking shows.

Fitness Personal Training for Healthy and Fit Living

It’s never easy to avoid being a victim of food. Chocolates, ice cream, cake, etc., how can one resist? It’s really hard to avoid digging in to a plate of delicious goodness. But, if you want to stay healthy and fit, do you have to neglect eating?

The answer is no! There’s no need to watch out keenly over your diet. You can lose those extra ounces of fat in your body without having to starve to death. The secret to a healthy and fit life is fitness personal training. (more…)

The Sweet Health Benefits Of Sour Foods

As a young man, I remember my grandmother trying to give me sauerkraut for dinner once and making the worst face possible in response to which my grandmother laughed and said, “Sauerkraut is not only good, it’s good for you!” When I tell my patients about sauerkraut as a health food, they make almost that same funny face! Recently, however, it turns out that grandma’s words were correct – sauerkraut has a surprising health benefit to it as do other fermented foods. In fact, a group of Polish women were recently studied for their rates of breast cancer. The group who ate a lot of sauerkraut had very low rates of breast cancer.

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, olives, pickles, sourdough bread have been around for a long time. They were created to help food keep longer using a natural fermentation process called lacto-fermentation. In this process, beneficial lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria (the kind that live in your gut and help digest your foods) convert the starch and sugar in foods to lactic acid. The lactic acid acted as a preservative so refrigeration was not necessary and food had a long shelf life.

A surprising, little known health benefit about these fermented foods was then discovered. It seems that the same fermentation process that both preserves and gives these foods their distinctive sour-tangy taste are also higher in vitamins and actually help your digestion, remove excess saturated fats and cholesterol, and keep your digestive tract healthy and happy.

In fact, these good bacteria present in naturally fermented food have recently started popping up all over television ads and health food articles as “probiotics” which restore and maintain your intestinal flora, i.e., the level of good bacteria in your gut. In case you didn’t know this, your large intestine, the place that houses all these beneficial bacteria, is the very seat of your immune system. When your beneficial bacteria levels are optimal, you have a healthy immune system strong enough to ward off infections and other diseases.

Many fermented foods, like olives, also contain good Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial in reducing inflammation throughout your body.

Not All Sour Foods Are Naturally Fermented

When I tell my patients about naturally fermented superfoods, they say, great I’ll pick up some at the grocery store! However, most canned sauerkraut, pickles, greek olives on the shelves, and buttermilks, yogurts, and kefir in your dairy section of your grocery store may not have been created through a natural fermentation process and may not contain the live bacteria.

In fact, many of these grocery store varieties of sour-tasting dairy foods are pasteurized, and the canned-shelf varieties can get their sour taste through the addition of vinegar (a fermented food in itself) and/or certain preservative-grade minerals like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added to extend shelf life. Most have lactic acid added to them rather than it developing naturally in the fermentation process described above. However, even these grocery store varieties of “fast” fermented foods give some health benefits in addition to their vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, etc, just not as much as naturally fermented that contain the live culture.

Unless your local grocery store has a special section for refrigerated health foods, you likely will have to go to a health food or natural foods store to get real, naturally fermented, nonpasteurized sauerkraut, pickles, olives, kefir, buttermilk and yogurt. You can also make your own fermented foods very easily. Fermentation starter kits are available, along with directions how to ferment many foods, in health food stores and/or online.

Exploring the Mental Aspect of Fitness

I promote and teach the 3 phases of fitness to all my clients. Many are unaware of what the three phases entail. If you fall into this same category…let me take this opportunity to enlighten you. The 3 phases are the Mental, Physical and Financial aspects or phases of fitness. This is a concept I developed a little over two years ago and have had great success with improving client’s mindsets. Let’s look at how each of these relate to your health and fitness. (more…)

Coffee Beans and Coffee Concerns – Enlightening All Coffee Buffs

The seeds produced by the coffee plant are the coffee beans. Though these are referred to as beans they are not really beans in the true botanical sense of the word. The coffee plant bears red or purple fruits which are also called cherries or berries of coffee and the stone that lies inside is the ‘bean’ which is the source of coffee. Two stones lying with their flat sides together usually constitute the coffee bean. It is from this bean that coffee is produced that can be used to produce a variety of coffee beverages like espresso, latte and cappuccino using the right coffee makers- espresso machines etc. It may be mentioned that a small percentage of any crop of coffee cherries contain a single bean in the cherries instead of the usual two. Such berries are called pea berries.

Coffee beans facts Some 0.8% to 2.5% caffeine is contained in the endosperm of the coffee seed or bean. This caffeine content gives them the characteristic flavor for which the plant is cultivated. Several species of the coffee plant are there and the seeds of each species produce coffees having slightly different tastes. Variation can be observed in the flavors of different genetic subspecies also and the coffee varietals- where the coffee plants are being cultivated.

Coffee beans are a major item of export of many countries. Coffee Arabica is the species that makes up the major portion (70-75%) of the world trade. The other important coffee species of coffee cultivated is the Coffee canephora. This is grown where the Coffee Arabica does not thrive.

Processing of coffee beans The coffee beans are processed before they are readied for use in preparing espresso, latte, cappuccino and other special coffee drinks using coffee makers- espresso machines and the like. The processing begins with the beans being removed from the coffee cherries. The fruit is then discarded or made use of as a fertilizer. The bean or seed of coffee is then ground and used in the preparation of beverages of various kinds using a coffee maker or espresso machine.

Coffee beans and espresso beans A difference between ordinary coffee beans and the espresso beans is there. The espresso beans tend to be a concoction of beans. These are almost always a relatively dark roast like a Vienna or light French roast. This is seemingly a trade secret. So, even though the formula of the blend can be discovered the exact amounts or proportions in which the constituents are to be blended cannot be easily found out.

Flavoring of coffee beans There is also the process of flavoring the coffee beans in an attempt to work upon their natural flavor to meet some purpose. Natural oils are usually used to achieve this. Half an ounce of oil is usually to be added to a pound of beans for the flavoring to be done.

The primary concern of all coffee lovers being the flavor of the drinks, special attention needs to be given to ensure that the best flavor is obtained from the coffee beans. This is of crucial importance in case of preparation of espresso, cappuccino, latte and all other special coffee beverages. The superior coffee makers and espresso machines can also deliver the best results i.e. brew the perfect drinks only if the best flavored ground coffee beans are used. Many of the world class coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com/index.html] and espresso machines of the day has been reported to be failing to deliver desirable brews owing to the use of coffee beans that were not up to the mark.

The real flavor of the coffee beans starts developing with the growth of the plant and is influenced by the climate of the place where it is grown. Of course, the particular species of the coffee plant also matters in the developing of the flavor. The processing of the bean i.e. the processes that the coffee beans are made to undergo through after they are extracted from the coffee fruits also affects their taste and flavor.

Roasting helping bring out best flavors Roasting of the beans is an important process that helps bring out the real vibrant flavor of the beans. The carbohydrate and fat content of the coffee beans get transformed to aromatic oils by the heat of the process. This gives rise to the great coffee flavor which is cherished by the people from all corners of the world.

Different types of roasting of the coffee beans also have different effects on the coffee produced i.e. varying of the composition. So, while light roast produces light flavored coffee the medium roast leads to preparation of a sweeter and fuller-bodied coffee. Again, dark roast that requires a long roasting time produces a spicy and sweet deep tasting coffee. The characteristic flavors of coffee that are a result of particular roasting are produced in the brews prepared by the coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com/index.html] and espresso machines of the day too.

Selecting best coffee beans and ensuring their freshness It is the best coffee beans that are to be selected. This is determined from the region where they are procured from. The coffee planted in a particular region and influenced by its climate produces a distinctive flavor in its cherries and beans (seeds). The Arabica coffee is considered as the very best. Gourmet coffee drinks are made using this coffee. Other varieties like the Robusta beans have been known to have more caffeine content and lesser flavor. These are also prepared cheaper.

Keeping the coffee beans fresh is also very important. These are to be kept sealed in an air tight container. To take care of freshness in the coffee beverages that you make using your coffee maker or espresso machine you need to purchase whole beans of coffee from specialty shops. These beans are to be used within a week of purchase. Only then can you get to enjoy perfectly flavored coffee drink. It is always preferable to gave a good coffee grinder at home and prepare freshly ground coffee for your brewing purpose. Pre ground coffee often lacks much of the flavor and aroma that are the hallmark of premium coffee. On the other hand freshly ground coffee provides more nutritional benefit and ensures the best flavor.

Newport Beach Personal Trainer Diet Tips

I have learned through my business as a Newport Beach Personal Trainer that dieting is the number one obstacle most people have trouble overcoming while trying to get fit. Even people who are diligent exercisers, who hit the gym with full intensity and always make sure to get enough rest to recover, somehow usually find themselves a bit confused as to want constitutes a good diet. Even in cases when people feel confident that they know how to eat right, most have difficultly actually following a good diet.

Don’t Be Too Strict – If you decide that you are going to eat nothing but unsalted egg whites, carrots, and rice cakes until you reach your goal weight, you are setting yourself up for failure. A diet for weight loss should strike a good balance between food that is good for you and food that you can be happy with eating on regular basis. As a Newport Beach Personal Trainer, I have seen more diets fail because they are too strict than because of any other reason.

It’s a good strategy to designate a “cheat meal” every week. For one meal a week, you should allow yourself to eat whatever your heart desires, whether it be pizza, a cheeseburger and French fries, or a big meal of takeout Chinese food. One meal a week isn’t going to ruin your fitness plan, and a usual cheat meal can help you be on a regular diet without feeling deprived.

Purchase Foods that are both Healthy and Convenient – When given the choice between a pizza that they can pop in the microwave and eat in three minutes and a vegetable medley that requires one to break out the knives and cutting board to make, most people are going to choose the pizza. There are just not enough hours in a day to be able to dedicate a significant chunk of time to preparing food.

So you aren’t tempted to sacrifice your health for the sake of convenience, make sure there are lots of ready-to-eat healthy foods in your cupboard and freezer. Stock up on canned soups that have a lot of good vegetables in them. Buy whole-grain wraps that you can use to make a healthy burrito. And frozen vegetables are fantastic because they only require a couple minutes of pan-frying to be ready.

Handle Stress without Food – A surprisingly large number of people turn to food when trying to deal with stress at work or home. The desire to deal with stress with fatty or sweet foods usually intensifies when someone switches to a healthy diet. Head this off by finding ways you can handle stressful occurrences without food. Try to engage in your favorite hobby when you feel stress creeping up on you. Or you can try drinking flavored zero calorie tea.

Limit Booze – It’s pretty common for people to diet smart all week long, then cut loose on the weekends, have a bunch of drinks, and wonder why they aren’t making much progress.

Excess alcohol can disrupt a diet a number of ways. First of all, alcohol usually comes with a bunch of calories. A bottle of Heineken has about a hundred and fifty calories. So if you down four of those in the course of an evening, it’s like eating an entire large meal. Secondly, your body has to burn off all the alcohol in your body before it can go back to burning fat, so it can delay the weight loss process. And thirdly, alcohol can interrupt protein synthesis, which can delay the muscle building process. There’s nothing wrong with a drink now and then, heck, I’m a Newport Beach Personal Trainer, and I like to imbibe now and then. But binging too often can cause serious interruptions in your fitness progress.

Crockpot Cooking Safety Tips

Although I have never had a bad experience with my crockpot (and I’m sure you won’t either), there are a few safety measures you need to follow to ensure food safety. Some of them are pretty basic and common sense and you are probably doing them already. But it never hurts to go over them and to just continue to be aware of the importance proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Always start clean, a clean cooker, clean utensils, a clean work area. And wash your hands before and during food preparation.

Be sure to handle ingredients carefully. Since slow cookers can take a while to get to temperatures hot enough to kill off bacteria, it is imperative to keep the ingredients constantly refrigerated prior to food preparation. Remember that bacteria multiply on food quickly at room temperature. Therefore perishable foods should remain refrigerated until you need them.

Defrost your meats and poultry prior to putting them in your slow cooker. This helps the crockpot achieve proper cooking temperature faster, eliminating the possibility of bacteria growth on your food.

Cutting food into smaller chunks helps to ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly. For example, don’t cook large pieces of meat such as a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Doing this increases the opportunity for bacterial growth because it takes a longer time to get to proper cooking temperature. Meats and vegetables can be cut up in advance but make sure you store them separately in covered containers.

Keep the lid on. Experts say that removing the lid can add 20 minutes to the cooking time! This is because it takes that long to re-generate the lost heat and steam. Remove it only to stir the food or check for doneness.

Since vegetables cook slower than meat, place the vegetables on the bottom. Then add the meat and cover the food with your broth, sauce, or water.

If possible, set the slow cooker setting on high for the first hour of cooking to get the food warmed up quickly. Then switch it to low for the rest of the day. If it is not possible, the Food Safety and Inspection Service says it is still safe to cook foods on low for the entire time, since the temperatures stay hot enough for long enough to prevent any bacterial growth on the food.

If you are away during the entire slow-cooking process and you know that there has been a power outage, don’t take any chances. Throw the food out. Although it may look done, it could also be unsafe for consumption. You can know if there was a power outage by the time flashing on your other appliances such as microwave or VCR.

Helpful Prevent Sugar Rice grain clumping

MATERIALS stored food is more easily damaged. This is usually due to ignorance of the correct way to save it. Though there are little things that you are not thought of before can help endurance herbs longer.

The following safety tips that you may often neglect so that food does not last long.

Enter in freezer
Freezer is not just a place to store ice cream and ice cubes only. Freezer can also be a place where the food to make it more durable. If you want long-lasting vegetables, live cut and insert in sealed plastic and store in the freezer. Another thing that you can store in the freezer is butter, bread, flour, and also to eliminate the evil bacteria.

Put the baking soda in the refrigerator
Vegetables and fruits are kept in the refrigerator issuing ethylene gas that can make them rot faster. To prevent this, put the baking soda in the refrigerator and you will be more fresh vegetables and durable.

Little things have a big impact
Lots of little things that can greatly affect your food resilience. For example, add a few grains of rice in a jar of sugar to prevent clumping. Or give a little butter on the corners so that the cheese does not dry out.

re wrap
Although the food is in a tight pack does not guarantee the long-lasting food. Examples cheese. Remove the cheese from the wrapper and then re-using the plastic wrap to make it more durable. The same thing you can do to vegetables.

Alkaline Foods and Baby Gender

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking me questions about PH and conception. Specific concerns are things like: how do alkaline foods affect baby gender and sex; whether you’ll get a boy or a girl if you consume an alkaline diet, and which foods have a low PH and would therefore fit this criteria. I’ll address these questions in the following article and tell you some other things to consider if you’re trying to determine or influence your baby’s gender.

PH And How It Influences Your Future Baby’s Gender:  There are actually three things that come in to play here – the timing of your conception, the sexual positions that you use when you try to conceive, and the PH that you have when this conception occurs.  In terms of PH, an alkaline reading on the mother to be would make the chances of conceiving a boy greater, while an acidic reading would increases the chances of a girl.  Here’s why.

The sperm that will give you a son are pretty short lived. They can only live for a day or so.  The opposite is true for the sperm that produces a daughter – it can live for several days.  But, if you want a daughter, you want to weed out the Y (boy sperm) and if you want a son, you’ll want to weed out the X (girl sperm.)

Your PH comes into play because you can manipulate it so that your vagina is unfriendly to the sperm holding the chromosome of the gender that you don’t want. As stated earlier, if you’re going for an alkaline environment, you’re setting yourself up for a boy conception because this state is more friendly to the players in this game.  If you’re going for an acidic environment, you’re setting yourself up for a girl conception because the Y’s will just wither and weaken when your PH is too high.

What Foods Are Alkaline: So hopefully, if you’re found this article, you want a boy and are on board with an alkaline diet.  Most foods that are alkaline fall into the fruit and vegetable category and avoid meats and dairy.  There are some exceptions of course, but more common examples are things like celery, lettuce, asparagus, lemon, watermelon, grapefruit, green tea, almonds, and sunflower seeds.  You want to avoid milk, breads and pastas, most meats, and sugars / convenience foods.

I realize that this list may not seem too appealing.  But, you only have to do this for as long as it takes to get a PH tester strip to get you the low reading that you need.  Once you get this, you’ll only need to maintain what you’ve done and continue to use the test strips to ensure that you aren’t sneaking back up.

Douching Can Alkalize Too:  If this diet seems not so fun, know that you can also use douches to help this process along.  In fact, douching with solutions based on your reading and your time frame can yield much more dramatic results.  Again, you’re not in this indefinitely, just until the little strip reaches that magic number (and stays there.)

Moving On: OK, we’ve covered food and douching, so now let’s think about timing.  If you want a boy, you want to get active on the day of ovulation.  For a girl, you want to get active much earlier – three to four days prior to the egg’s release.  And, you want deeper penetration for a boy conception and the opposite if you want a daughter.

I’ve put together a few websites that take a lot of the guess work out of choosing your baby’s gender. You’ll find step by step instructions, resources for douche recipes and food PH lists, information on when to conceive, tips, support, and examples of ovulation predictors / PH testing strips.

 

Discovering Organic Coffee

Many people have turned to organic fruits and vegetables (and even meats) in recent years, striving to live healthier, longer lives. You may be one of these people. But did you know that organic coffee is now available, too? If you can’t find it at your local health food store, then you can definitely find it online.

How Organic Coffee Differs From Traditional Coffee

The coffee plant has traditionally been grown in the company of shade trees and other food and cash crops. This approach made for healthier soil and prevented water contamination. Unfortunately, many coffee growers have abandoned this approach in favor of larger crops and hence larger profits. However, synthetic pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers have become necessary to maintain these crops, and along with them the taste of the coffee has suffered, the soil has suffered, and no one knows the potential impact they may have on the future health of the coffee consumer.

In addition, the loss of the shade trees has had a direct impact on migratory song birds. While an obvious connection may not immediately come to mind, the relationship has actually been symbiotic. These birds used the shade trees as their habitat as they migrated, and as a result they provided a natural defense against many of the bugs and pests that can ruin a coffee crop. Without them, pesticides must be used to do the job.

Unlike the large, commercial coffee plantations, organic coffees are generally grown on small farms with plenty of shade cover. There are plenty of migratory birds to control insects, and pesticides are unnecessary. In fact, the United States requires that organic coffees be grown on shaded land and be completely chemical free for three consecutive years.

Tips For A Great Cup of Organic Coffee

Whole beans should be used within a week of purchase in order to enjoy the full flavor of the coffee.

Avoid vacuum-packed coffee, even organic vacuum-packed coffee. The process of vacuum packing cannot be done immediately after roasting. The coffee must sit for nearly a week before it can be vacuum-packed. This degrades much of the flavor.

Coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container, not on the shelf in the paper bag you brought them home with from the store. And in order to enjoy the full flavor of the coffee, you should grind only the amount you intend to use just before brewing.

Whole coffee beans that will be stored longer than a week should be placed in an airtight glass container that’s kept in the freezer.

As with any coffee blend, organic or not, grind the beans according to the brewing method you intend to use. Keep in mind that if you grind your beans too fine your coffee may end up bitter and muddy; if you don’t grind them enough, your coffee may end up flavorless.

Often overlooked, many people consider the most important step toward a good cup of coffee to be the proportion of water to coffee. Experts recommend 2 tablespoons for every 6 ounces of water.