YIELD: 2 dozen cookies
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 8-10 minutes
These Cake Mix Grinch Cookies are so easy and festive they’ll be sure to put you in the holiday mood!
1 box french vanilla cake mix , dry mix only
1/2 cup vegetable oil
green food coloring, 1 drop
Confectioners (powdered) sugar for dusting
Sprinkles or candies, large heart-shaped
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In the bowl of your mixer cream together cake mix, food coloring, oil, and eggs.
Drop by Tablespoon into confectioners sugar and roll into balls. If the dough is too sticky you can chill it for 10-15 minutes before you roll into balls.
Place on baking sheet and press 1 large heart candy/sprinkle.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until just set.
Let cool 3-4 minutes on pan before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Homemade Coconut Milk
yield 4 -6
Homemade coconut milk from shredded coconut for a healthy and inexpensive milk alternative.
4 cups of water
1.5-2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut
Heat water, but don’t boil. It should be hot, but not scalding.
Put coconut in blender or Vitamix and add water. (If all water won’t fit, you can add the water in two batches.)
Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
Pour through a mesh colander first to get most of the coconut out, and then squeeze through a towel or several thicknesses of cheesecloth to get remaining pieces of coconut out.
If you have to split the water, put all the coconut that you strained out back in the blender, add the remaining water, and repeat.
Flavor options- add in after all coconut has been strained out: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, 2 tsp cocoa powder + 1/2 tsp vanilla.
Drink immediately or store in the fridge. Should be used in 3-4 days after making for best flavor and texture. Since there are no preservatives or fillers, the “cream” of the coconut milk may separate on the top if stored in the fridge. Just shake or stir before using.
Gluten Free Almond Muffin in a Minute
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour (1/4 cup is 28g)
1 tsp No Calorie Sweetener
1/4 tsp Baking Powder (Straight Phosphate, Double Acting)
1 dash Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 large Egg (Whole)
1 tsp Canola Vegetable Oil
Place all dry ingredients in a coffee mug. Stir to combine.
Add the egg and oil. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Microwave for 1 minute. Use a knife if necessary to help remove the muffin from the cup, slice, butter, eat.
Recent research reveals some troubling side effects of these popular beverages.
Energy drinks are one of America’s most popular dietary supplements, according to the National Institutes of Health, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually a boost for your health. There’s been a lot controversy surrounding the drinks following several recent overdoses — and even deaths — linked to the beverages. In 2014, World Health Organization researchers labeled the rise in energy-drink consumption a “danger to public health.”
So, what’s in an energy drink, and how does it affect your body?
A 2015 Mayo Clinic study, published in JAMA, examined the effects of drinking a single 16-ounce can of a popular energy drink (Rockstar Punched). Researchers conducted the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on 25 healthy volunteers with an average age of 29.
Researchers observed that the effects could be the results of the following stimulants in Rockstar Punched.
Health and Wellness Associates
What to Eat to Strengthen Those Arteries and Veins
Butcher’s broom is a low-growing common evergreen shrub. It is widely distributed, from Iran to the Mediterranean and the southern United States. The plant develops edible shoots that are similar to asparagus in form. Butcher’s broom has tough, erect, striated stems with false thorny leaves. The name of this plant should not be confused with broom (Cytisus scoparius) or Spanish broom (Spartium junceum).
What is it used for?
A variety of compounds have been isolated from butcher’s broom. The 2 primary active saponin compounds are ruscogenin and neoruscogenin. Butcher’s broom is the active component in several produce formulations and topical treatments for venous diseases and venous insufficiency, such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Limited results showing some promise from clinical trials are available. The German Commission E approves oral use for supportive therapy for discomforts of chronic venous insufficiency and complaints of hemorrhoids. Butcher’s broom also may be useful for orthostatic hypotension, although data is limited.
Novel modern uses for this plant have included its use as an anti-inflammatory agent and to prevent atherosclerosis. The discovery of new pharmacological activity of butcher’s broom, particularly as a cytotoxic agent, demonstrate the need for continued research on butcher’s broom.
What is the recommended dosage?
Extracts have been dosed at 16 mg daily for chronic phlebopathy, while a topical cream formulation was used to apply 64 to 96 mg of extract daily.
Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Avoid use.
Butchers Broom Tea
Preparation Methods & Dosage: To make a tea from chopped root, place 1 teaspoon of the herb in a cup of boiling water and allow to steep in a closed teapot for 10 minutes.
Yes, add those orange peels to any tea and it will help with strengthening the veins. Orange peels can be put into desserts and when cooking meat, and get all the same health benefits for your veins,.
If you have vein and or artery issues, or have had a heart attack, grapes with seeds is the route to go. Try never to buy grapes without seeds, for there are too many hidden chemicals in those grapes.
Just a few things to help you out!
Health and Wellness Associates
Sleep Important Part of Weight Loss Plan
Getting enough sleep is essential to successful weight loss. Sleep is often overlooked by dieters, but a wealth of scientific research supports the theory that people who get little sleep are at increased risk of being overweight or obese. As a knock-on effect, poor sleep can lead people to be less active and snack more, often reaching for sugary or fatty foods as a pick-me-up. Here are a few tips from the doctor and nutritionist Laurence Plumey to improve the chances of successful weight loss.
Get at least seven hours’ sleep per night
A recently published American study found that missing out on full nights of sleep — of at least seven hours — was linked to an increased consumption of sugary drinks and foods, as well as a higher risk of obesity. It’s important to listen to the body’s cues and head to bed with the first yawn of the evening, recommends Laurence Plumey. There’s no shame in going to bed at 10:30pm, she continues, otherwise you risk losing out on 1½ hours of sleep before the next cycle.
Still, some people naturally need more sleep than others, and this genetic trait should be taken into account. As the specialist explains, if you wake up on great form after five hours’ sleep, then maybe you’re someone who just doesn’t need much shut-eye.
Make the most of natural daylight
It isn’t always widely known, but spending days in rooms with low lighting levels and doing activities under artificial light dips into the body’s reserves of melatonin, a hormone that allows the onset of sleep. Preventing this process during the day causes the body to secrete of higher levels of melatonin in the evening, which can favor refreshing, quality sleep. Detrimental light from screens can be toned down in the evenings by downloading a free program like F.lux, giving the light a yellow tinge for a softer effect.
Switch lie-ins for naps
Getting up at midday on Saturday and Sunday sets our regular food intake off balance. It’s better to take 20-minute naps during the day to avoid breaking the weekday routine entirely. This can also make the sound of the Monday morning alarm a whole lot less painful.
Cut caffeine six hours before bedtime
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Anything that contains caffeine — such as coffee, tea, yerba mate, energy drinks, sodas and chocolate — should be avoided in the evening. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and alters the activity of melatonin and adenosine, two neurotransmitters essential to the onset of sleep.
Get some exercise
Physical activity promotes sleep and burns calories. Here too, it’s important to listen to the body, as different people enjoy exercise at different times of day. Some find that exercise winds them down ready for bed, while others ride high on the effects of dopamine for an energizing start the day.
Don’t mix sugar and fat at dinner time
In large quantities, fats, like sugars, slow down digestion and increase body temperature. Deep sleep, however, is favored by reducing body temperature. With sugar and fat, you lose out on two levels, explains Laurence Plumey, with a negative effect on sleep and calories stored during the night. A third knock-on effect is that hunger is often curbed at breakfast time, making fatty or sugary foods popular options for late morning snacks, the expert said.
Avoid drinking alcohol
Alcohol can be detrimental to both sleep and weight loss! It may help induce sleep initially, but the transition to a deep sleep phase is slowed down. In fact, alcohol is thought to prevent the secretion of adrenaline (the stress hormone) and disturb the activity of tryptophan and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that regulate sleep.
Do you need help understanding all the articles you read? Call us and make an appointment for a Personal Health Care Plan.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr. Jay Jaranson
FDA Warns of Herb Kratom’s Opioid-Like Harms
TUESDAY, Nov. 14, 2017 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued an advisory about harms tied to kratom — an imported herbal supplement with opioid-like effects that is increasing in popularity.
People are taking the unapproved supplement to treat conditions like pain, anxiety and depression — without medical supervision, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. Others use kratom for its euphoric effects, or to wean addicts off opioids such as prescription painkillers or heroin, also without medical say-so.
“Importantly, evidence shows that kratom has similar effects to narcotics like opioids, and carries similar risks of abuse, addiction and, in some cases, death,” Gottlieb said. “At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic, the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning.”
The United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic. Since 2000, more than 500,000 Americans have died from a narcotic overdose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President Donald Trump recently declared the crisis a public health emergency.
Meanwhile, a similarly troubling trend has been seen with kratom. Between 2010 and 2015, kratom-related calls to U.S. poison control centers jumped 10-fold. And 36 deaths have been linked to kratom-containing products. Kratom use can also cause seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms, the FDA said.
In the United States, there are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, which grows naturally in Southeast Asia.
In some cases reported to the FDA, kratom is laced with opioids like hydrocodone (Vicodin), Gottlieb noted.
The commissioner stressed the need to evaluate the drug’s potential benefits and harms. He said kratom products must go through the FDA’s drug review process before they can be legally marketed for therapeutic uses in the United States.
“This is especially relevant given the public’s perception that it can be a safe alternative to prescription opioids,” he added.
So far, no marketer has tried “to properly develop a drug that includes kratom,” Gottlieb said.
“While we remain open to the potential medicinal uses of kratom, those uses must be backed by sound science and weighed appropriately against the potential for abuse,” Gottlieb added.
In 16 countries, kratom is a controlled substance. And in the United States, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin have banned kratom. Several other states are reviewing proposals to outlaw it, Gottlieb noted.
For now, the FDA said it is working to prevent shipments of kratom from entering the country.
“We’ve learned a tragic lesson from the opioid crisis: that we must pay early attention to the potential for new products to cause addiction, and we must take strong, decisive measures to intervene,” Gottlieb said.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers
Dir of Personalized Healthcare,
Restorative and Preventative Medicine
Those with a high cardiovascular risk profile should eat dark chocolate with olive oil, new study finds
In recent years, the medical community has put a lot of effort into educating people about reducing their cholesterol levels in order to protect their heart health. Of course, those who do have elevated cholesterol levels are often prescribed statin drugs like Lipitor, Zocor and others to lower these levels. In fact, these are among the most prescribed drugs of all time.
Nonetheless, these toxic drugs carry serious side effects, including muscle pain and weakness, increased liver enzymes, asthma complications, and birth defects in pregnant women, to name just a few.
This doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t a healthy solution to reducing cholesterol levels naturally. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, a recent study has unlocked another key to taking care of your heart: eating dark chocolate and extra virgin olive oil together.
The study, undertaken by researchers from the University of Pisa in Italy, who presented the results at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in August, concluded that dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil can lead to improved heart health and a better cardiovascular risk profile.
“A healthy diet is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Rossella Di Stefano, a cardiologist at the University of Pisa, and the lead author of the study. “Fruits and vegetables exert their protective effects through plant polyphenols, which are found in cocoa, olive oil, and apples. Research has found that the Italian Panaia red apple has very high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants.”
The researchers set out to determine whether a combination of either dark chocolate and olive oil or dark chocolate and Panaia red apple might halt the progress of atherosclerosis (a build-up of plaque on the artery walls, causing obstructed blood flow, and potentially a life-threatening blood clot) in otherwise healthy people with cardiovascular risk factors.
The ESC explained in a press release:
The randomised crossover study included 26 volunteers (14 men, 12 women) with at least three cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, or family history of cardiovascular disease) who received 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for 28 days. For 14 consecutive days it contained 10% extra virgin olive oil and for 14 consecutive days it contained 2.5% Panaia red apple. The two types of chocolate were given in random order.
Progression of atherosclerosis was assessed by metabolic changes (levels of carnitine and hippurate), lipid profile, blood pressure and levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). EPCs are critical for vascular repair and maintenance of endothelial function.
The researchers took urine and blood samples at the beginning of the study and again at the end. The urine samples were analyzed for endogenous metabolites using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and circulating EPC levels were evaluated with flow cytometry. Body mass index (BMI), blood pressure levels, smoking status, lipid profile and glycaemia, were also carefully monitored for all participants.
The results were quite astounding. At the end of the 28-day study, the researchers found that EPC levels were significantly increased after consumption of the olive oil-enriched chocolate. Carnitine and hippurate levels were considerably decreased – which is a good thing – both in comparison to baseline figures and to the apple-enriched chocolate.
Most encouragingly, consumption of the olive oil-enhanced chocolate resulted in significant increases in high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and sizable reductions in blood pressure levels. (Related: Olive oil antioxidant naturally kills all cancer cells tested within an hour.)
So, if like millions of others you’ve been advised to take steps to decrease your cholesterol levels, you now have a fantastic excuse to increase your consumption of delicious dark chocolate. Just make sure you take some pure virgin olive oil with it! Perhaps melt that chocolate in a little olive oil and pour over fresh strawberries? Yum
Health and Wellness Associates
D P Carrothers
Are You Making Your Life Harder Than It Needs To Be!
10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be
Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face.
Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others.
It is little wonder that you believe the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very center of every experience you have ever had.
You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end.
Unfortunately you forgot to give your script to anyone else. As a result, people are unaware of the role they are supposed to play. Then, when they screw up their lines, or fail to fall in love with you or don’t give you a promotion, your movie is ruined.
Lose your script. Let someone else star once in awhile. Welcome new characters. Embrace plot twists.
I have a bad habit of fast forwarding everything to its worst possible outcome and being pleasantly surprised when the result is marginally better than utter disaster or jail time. My mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. My sore throat is cancer. My lost driver’s license fell into the hands of an al-Qaeda operative who will wipe out my savings account.
Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will pull you under.
Among their many shortcomings of your family and friends is the harsh reality that they cannot read your mind or anticipate your whims.
Did your boyfriend forget the six and a half month anniversary of your first movie date? Did your girlfriend refuse to call at an appointed hour? Did your friend fail to fawn over your tribal tattoo?
Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your unhappiness in life. Minimize your expectations, maximize your joy.
I have a friend who won’t make a decision without receiving a “sign.” I suppose she is waiting on a trumpeted announcement from God. She is constantly paralyzed by a divinity that is either heavily obscured or frustratingly tardy. I’m not disavowing that fate or a higher power plays a role in our lives. I’m just saying that it is better to help shape fate than be governed by it.
Two words: Live boldly. Every single time you are offered a choice that involves greater risk, take it. You will lose on many of them but when you add them up at the end of your life you’ll be glad you did.
A few years ago I was invited to a nice party at a big warehouse downtown. I was enjoying the smooth jazz, box wine and crustless sandwiches. What more could a guy want? Later in the evening I noticed a steady parade of well-heeled people slide past and disappear into another room. I peeked and saw a large party with beautiful revelers dancing and carrying on like Bacchus. Suddenly my gig wasn’t as fun as it had been all because it didn’t appear to measure up to the party next door- a party I didn’t even know existed until just moments before.
I do this frequently. Those people are having more fun. Mary has a bigger boat. Craig gets all the lucky breaks. Ted has more money. John is better looking.
Always remember what Teddy Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
If you had a million dollars in cash under your mattress, you would check it regularly and take precautions to insure it is safe. The one possession you have that is more important than money is time. But you don’t do anything to protect it. In fact you willingly give it to thieves. Selfish people, egotistical people, negative people, people who won’t shut up. Treat your time like Fort Knox. Guard it closely and give it only to those who deserve and respect it.
These are getting a little harder aren’t they? That’s because sometimes you have to work at happiness. Some hurdles are too difficult to clear by simply adjusting your point of view or adopting a positive mindset.
Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to turn your back on a failed relationship? Do you need to come to terms with the death of a loved one?
Life is full of loss. But, in a sense, real happiness would not be possible without it. It helps us appreciate and savor the things that really matter. It helps us grow. It can help us help others grow.
Closure is a word for people who have never really suffered. There’s no such thing. Just try to “manage” your loss. Put it in perspective. You will always have some regret and doubt about your loss. You may always second guess yourself. If only you had said this, or tried that.
You’re not alone. Find someone who understands and talk to that person. Reach out for support. If all else fails, try #10 below.
One way to deal with loss is to immerse yourself in doing good. Volunteer. Get involved in life.
It doesn’t even have to be a big, structured thing. Say a kind word. Encourage someone. Pay a visit to someone who is alone. Get away from your self-absorption.
When it comes down to it, there are two types of people in this world. There are givers and there are takers. Givers are happy. Takers are miserable. What are you?
Health and Wellness Associates
D M Williams