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Holiday Green Bean Casserole

Elegant-Green-Beans_EXPS_TGCBBZ17_31193_D05_03_3b

ELEGANT GREEN BEANS RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS

1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 small onion, chopped

1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained

6 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup all-purpose flour ( I use coconut flour)

1 cup 2% milk ( I use less than ½ c)

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Dash salt

1 package (16 ounces) frozen French-style green beans, thawed

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( Philadelphia cream cheese is good)

1 cup crushed French-fried onions

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small skillet, saute water chestnuts, onion and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender; set aside.

In large skillet, melt remaining butter; stir in flour until smooth. Stir in milk, broth, soy sauce, pepper sauce and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in green beans and cheese.

Spoon half of the bean mixture into a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Layer with water chestnut mixture and remaining bean mixture.

Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes. Top with French-fried onions. Bake 5 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

 

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

3/4 cup: 218 calories, 15g fat (8g saturated fat), 35mg cholesterol, 392mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 5g protein.

 

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Sweet Potato Casserole

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SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE RECIPE

 

INGREDIENTS

CASSEROLE:

2-1/4 to 2-1/2 pounds (about 4 cups) sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and mashed

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten ( adding protein is smart when you use sugar)

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute

TOPPING:

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted

 

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and sugar. Spread into a greased 1-1/2-qt. casserole. For topping, combine all ingredients and sprinkle over potatoes. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 6-8 servings.

 

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Sperm Benefits During Pregnancy

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Sperm Benefits During Pregnancy

Benefits of Sperm During Pregnancy

 

  1. Actual Nourishment

 

There are numerous vitamins, minerals, and even a dose of protein in every ejaculation. While this won’t take the place of your prenatal vitamins, anything helps. If anything, the nourishment in sperm will keep your vaginal tissues healthy and get the cells ready for repair after delivery.

  1. Good Sleep

 

Semen has some melatonin in it that may be absorbed through your vagina and enter your bloodstream. This may help with those sleepless nights, a common side-effect of pregnancy. If your doctor gives the okay, sex every night before bed may be the best sleep remedy you’ve ever had. No pun intended.

 

  1. Getting Your Cervix Ready

 

One of the benefits of sperm during pregnancy is that it helps get your cervix ready for the big day. Semen or sperm contains high levels of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins soften the cervix to help it open up easier when labor begins. The prostaglandins may also help trigger contractions, so ask your doctor if sex is okay at the end of pregnancy.

 

  1. Feeling Better About Yourself

 

Some women may not find pregnancy a very sexy time of their lives. Weight gain, fatigue, and changing looks may cause a lowered self-esteem. Semen may contain chemicals that when absorbed through the vaginal walls, may decrease depression. Levels of these “feel good” chemicals have been found in women’s blood at increased levels for a few days after sexual intercourse.

 

  1. Immune System Protection

 

Another one of the benefits of sperm during pregnancy is immune system protection. Sperm contains proteins that may help strengthen your immune system. It may help prevent interactions between mom and baby, reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, and keep you healthy. One reason being studied is that pre-eclampsia may be a DNA incompatibility between mom and dad. Sexual intercourse with baby daddy may help desensitize the immune system to dad’s DNA.

 

Safe Tips for Better Sex During Pregnancy

 

Don’t force things. Your desire for intimacy may wax and wane over the months. Let your partner know how you are feeling. Your body knows just when the right time is, listen closely. Be gentle and take things slow.

You may need to use a safe water based lubricant for comfort. Sex drive may be less in the end of pregnancy. While sperm is helpful then, you may need some help to get things started.

Make time for intimacy. Sperm is healthy for your pregnancy, but you need to have sexual intercourse to reap the benefits. Busy schedules, morning sickness (makes mornings a bad time), work, and other kids can all get in the way. Try going off to bed soon after dinner before you get too tired.

You may have to adjust positions. If you are making love for the benefits of sperm at the end of pregnancy, you may need to try different positions for the most comfort.

If you have oral sex, never let your partner blow air into your vagina. This is very seriously dangerous and can be life threatening. The air can form an embolism in your bloodstream and block a blood vessel.

Refrain from sexual intercourse if your water has broken already. This may mean your contractions have already started and you won’t need the benefit of semen to get things going, they already are. Intercourse could put you and your baby at risk for infection.

If the benefits of sperm during pregnancy are contraindicated due to a high risk pregnancy, you can ask your doctor about sex with a condom. Just keep in mind that even orgasms can be detrimental if you are at risk for miscarriage.

If you cannot have sex during your pregnancy, find other ways to be intimate. You can cuddle and watch movies, spend time reading together, or go for a walk every evening after dinner (as long as you aren’t on bedrest).

Last but not least, communicate with your partner. He may be feeling like “sex may hurt the baby,” or that “his sperm may get into your uterus,” all of which are old wives tales. Your baby will never know or be hurt by your lovemaking. The uterus is sealed off by the mucous plug and nothing gets past it until it dislodges at the end of your pregnancy. The baby is also cushioned by amniotic fluid, protecting him or her from any “bumps.” Explaining these things will help make your partner feel better about sex while you’re pregnant.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Patricia Carrothers

Dir of Personalized Healthcare and Preventative Medicine

312-972-9355

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Five Guys You Should Run From Fast!

fiveguys

 

Five Types of Guys You Should Run from, and Fast!

Of course there are plenty of great guys out there, but I’ve also known some really bad guys in my time. I wouldn’t be leveling with you if I neglected to tell you about some guys who have a dark side. So how can you avoid the bad apples? Watch out for these five types:

 

  1. The Hit ‘er-and-Quit ‘er

These guys are the ones who just don’t like women, yet they use women as often as possible. They still want sex, but their need for intimacy and female companionship ends at the foot of the bed. They will say virtually anything to get a girl naked and have no conscience about what lies and misrepresentations they tell to get there. They are predators and will move on, even if they like the woman. Watch out for men who try to pressure you into having sex with over-the-top urgency and get aggressive when you say no.

 

  1. The Kiss-and-Teller

These are the braggarts who are more interested in a trophy for the sole purpose of having a story to tell. Unlike the previous guy, who may not even care about his image, these guys can’t wait to parade you around — and then get away from you, so they can tell their stories. Their only interest is meeting what they believe are society’s expectations. So they won’t try to get to know you at all. They just want to show you off and make people think that they have something, even if they don’t.

 

  1. The Smother Brother

These guys are overwhelmed by a need for control. For example, they might tell a girlfriend how to dress, or where she is and is not allowed to go. Their problem is that they can’t deal with uncertainty, so they micromanage the life out of you and the relationship. At first, it might feel good that they are really head over heels in love with you and so invested in you. But be patient, because soon you might find that their interest is not in caring for you, but in controlling you. Don’t confuse smothering with love.

 

  1. The Pretender

He is playing a script and he doesn’t care who is playing opposite him. He just likes his role of romantic lead, which he may eagerly play all the way up to the altar. But he has no intention of ever following through by sticking around to do the actual work. Once this guy feels he’s got you, it’s “game over” — now he has to figure out what to do with you. And that’s either too scary or too boring a proposition for him to deal with, so he moves on.

 

  1. The Mama’s Boy

Unemployed and seeking women who are affluent to take care of them emotionally and financially, mama’s boys are looking to be — you guessed it — mommied. Instead of viewing relationships as their chance to grow into adulthood, they look at women as mothers who will feed, clothe and clean up after them. Watch out for guys who never seem to have any money, so they expect you to pay for dinner or even ask for loans.

 

Boy, oh boy, I can put some faces with each of these five categories! These guys are out there. Beware.

 

Please feel free to share with family and loved ones.  Always remember to call with any questions you may have, or difficult situations, we have many professionals here to help.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived PG

312-972-WELL

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