Saturday, May 23, 2009

America's Best and Worst Burgers

The burger industry in America is looking more and more like an arms race these days. Every few months, we watch in horror as another bacon-enhanced, cheese-embalmed, ranch-riddled weapon of mass inflation hits menu boards at the country’s largest restaurant chains.

Chili’s Smokehouse Bacon Triple-The-Cheese Big Mouth Burger with Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
2,040 calories
150 g fat (53 g saturated)
110 g protein
4,900 mg sodium

T.G.I. Friday’s Cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger
1,590 calories
unknown g fat
unknown mg sodium

Red Robbin A.1. Peppercorn Burger
1,440 calories
97 g fat

Denny’s Double Cheeseburger
1,540 calories
116 g fat (52 g saturated, 7 g trans)
3,880 mg sodium

Dairy Queen ½ lb. FlameThrower GrillBurger
1,140 calories
82 g fat (27 g saturated, 1.5 g trans)
1,940 mg sodium

Hardee’s Two-Third Pound Monster Thickburger
1,420 calories
108 g fat (43 g saturated)
2,770 mg sodium

Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger
1,057 calories
65 g fat


DQ Original Burger
350 calories
14 g fat (7 g saturated)
680 mg sodium

Wendy’s Quarter-Pound Single
430 calories
20 g fat (7 g saturated)
870 mg sodium

Burger King Whopper Jr. w/o mayo
370 calories
21 g fat (6 g saturated)
570 mg sodium

McDonald’s Quarter Pounder
410 calories
19 g fat (7 g saturated)
730 mg sodium

In-N-Out Protein-Style Protein-Style Cheeseburger
330 calories
25 g fat (9 g saturated)
720 mg sodium

I hope these information I have provided would help you choosing the best for your diet!!:)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Healthy Lasagna

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  3. 6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
  4. 1/3 pound ground beef chuck
  5. 1/3 pound ground veal (see note)
  6. 1/3 pound ground pork
  7. 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  9. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  10. 1 (28 ounce) can tomato puree
  11. 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  12. 15 ounces ricotta cheese (whole milk or part skim)
  13. 2 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  14. 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  15. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  16. 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  17. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  18. 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  19. 16 ounces whole milk mozzarella, shredde
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add ground meats, salt, and pepper; cook, breaking meat into small pieces with wooden spoon, until meat loses its raw color but has not browned, about 4 minutes. Add cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and only fat remains, about 4 minutes. Add pureed and drained diced tomatoes and bring to simmer; reduce heat to low and simmer slowly until flavors are blended, about 3 minutes; set sauce aside. (Sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days; reheat before assembling lasagna.)
  3. Mix ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, basil, egg, salt, and pepper in medium bowl with fork until well-combined and creamy; set aside.
  4. Smear entire bottom of 9- by 13-inch baking dish with 1/4 cup meat sauce. Place 3 noodles on top of sauce. Drop 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture down center of each noodle. Level by pressing flat with back of measuring spoon. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce evenly over cheese.
  5. Repeat layering of noodles, ricotta, mozzarella, and sauce two more times. Place 3 remaining noodles on top of sauce, spread remaining sauce over noodles, sprinkle with remaining cup mozzarella, then with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Lightly spray a large sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover lasagna. Bake 15 minutes, then remove foil. Return lasagna to oven and continue to bake until cheese is spotty brown and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes longer. Cool lasagna about 10 minutes; cut into pieces and serve.
Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 6

Per Serving

  • Calories: 819 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 62 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6 g
  • Fat: 41 g
  • Protein: 52 g
  • Sugars: 16 g

Heathy French Fries

  1. 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into wedges
  2. 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss potato wedges with oil, salt and thyme (if using). Spread the wedges out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until browned and tender, turning once, about 20 minutes total.

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 2

Per Serving

  • Calories: 115 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sugars: 0 g

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Benefits of Breastfeeding

With rare exceptions, breast milk is the preferred feeding for infants and confers unique benefits.

Breastfed babies (for at least 6 months) may be at reduced risk for many acute and chronic diseases, including gastrointestinal tract infection (like diarrhea), lower respiratory tract infections (like a cold), urinary tract infections, otitis media (ear infections), and allergic reactions (like atopic dermatitis and asthma).

The effect of breastfeeding in protecting against infection is well established. Infants who were fully breastfed for 6 months or more seem to have higher mental development when compared with infants who were never breastfed. Some studies show that the effects of breastfeeding may carry over and also protect young children and adolescents from becoming overweight.

  • Milk has biologic specificity—meaning that every species of animal who breastfeeds their babies makes a milk that is unique for the young of that species.

  • The amounts of nutrients change to match your baby's rapidly changing needs.

  • The fat content increases during a feeding so that the baby gets the right amount of fat. Human milk contains the right kinds of fats along with an enzyme (lipase) that helps digest the fat.

  • Cholesterol is high in human milk, low
  • er in cow's milk, and very low in formulas. Cholesterol promotes brain growth and provides basic components of hormones, vitamin D, and intestinal bile.

    Milk (cow's, formula, and human) contains two main proteins: whey and casein.
  • Whey is easier for humans to digest and is found in higher concentrations in human milk.

  • Around 6 months of age, the baby's intestines mature and become less open to proteins that may harm the body as allergenic proteins (allergens). Giving only human milk until the intestines mature is the best way to keep potentially allergy-causing proteins out of baby's blood.

  • Human milk includes helpful proteins not naturally found in milk made by cows or companies.

  • Human milk is fresh and contains more lactose (sugar) than cow's milk. Formulas add sucrose or glucose (other types of sugars).

  • Vitamins and minerals have a higher bioavailability in human milk. In other words, the body uses most of what is in the milk. There is very little waste.

  • The germs in the baby's environment, to which the mother has been exposed, cause the mother to produce antibodies to that germ, which are passed on to the breastfeeding infant.

  • Breastfeeding relaxes mother and baby.

  • Women who breastfeed have a lower incidence of breast cancer.

  • Breastfed babies tend to be healthier.

  • Breastfeeding is less expensive.

Healthy Brownies

PER SERVING (1 brownie): 133 calories, 1.75g fat, 312mg sodium, 29g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 7.5g sugars, 3g protein

The Cheesecake Factory's Brownie Sundae Cheesecake is rumored to have an insane 970 calories & 63g fat per slice. Make these instead!

One 18.25-oz. box devil's food cake mix
One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
6 oz. fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 tsp. Coffee-mate Sugar Free French Vanilla powdered creamer
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pumpkin, stirring until completely blended. Batter will be very thick.

Spread batter into a large baking pan (about 9" X 13") sprayed with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, dissolve powdered creamer in 2 tbsp. warm water. Add cream cheese, Splenda, and vanilla extract. Whisk vigorously until blended and lump-free.

Spoon mixture over brownie batter and swirl with a knife. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Cut into 16 pieces. Enjoy!


Healthy Chocolate Marshmallow

PER SERVING (1 glazed and topped cupcake): 109 calories, 2g fat, 230mg sodium, 21g carbs, 0.75g fiber, 12.5g sugars, 2g protein


For Cupcakes
2 cups moist-style chocolate cake mix (1/2 of an 18.25-oz. box)
One 25-calorie packet diet hot cocoa mix
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
1 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/8 tsp. salt

For Glaze and Topping
1/4 cup Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
1 tsp. light vanilla soymilk
1 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a tall glass, dissolve cocoa mix in 1/4 cup hot water. Add 1 cup cold water and stir well. In a large bowl, combine cocoa mixture with all other ingredients for cupcakes. Whisk until smooth.

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups and/or spray with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute cake mixture among the cups. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

To prepare glaze, place marshmallow creme in a small dish. Add soymilk and mix well. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, drizzle with glaze. Top with chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stress and its Remedies

The term stress implies any condition that harms the body or the mind. The most common disorders associated with stress are heart disease, diabetes, headache, and peptic ulcer.

Stress symptoms:

Body, brain and nervous system react actively
The body and the mind react to any stress factor. A large number of physical changes take place when a person is under stress. The brain and nervous system become intensely active; the pupils of the eye dilate; digestion slows down; muscles become tense; the heart starts pumping blood harder and faster; blood pressure increases; breathing becomes faster; hormones such as adrenaline are released into the system along with glucose from the liver; and sweating starts. All these changes like place in split second under the direction of the nervous system. If the stress factors are removed immediately, no harm accrues and all the changes are reversible

Poor sleep, frustration, increase in alcoholic intake etc
Stress in its earlier and reversible stage leads to poor sleep, bad temper, continual grumbling, domestic conflict, repealed minor sickness, accident proneness, a feeling of frustration, and increase in alcoholic intake.

Causes of Stress:

External stress factors like loud noises, drugs, etc
Stress may he caused by a variety of factors both outside the body and within. External factors include loud noises, blinding light,extreme heat or cold, X-rays and other forms of radiation, drugs, chemicals, bacterial and various toxic substance, pain, and inadequate nutrition

Internal stress factors like envy, jealousy, etc
The factors from within the body include hate, envy, fear, or Jealousy

Remedies for Stress:

Stress treatment using Nutrients
Certain nutrients have proved beneficial in relieving stress. These are vitamins A and B; and minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium which reduce the feeling of irritability and anxiety. Vitamin A is found in green and yellow vegetables. Some of the valuable sources of vitamin B are cashew nuts, green leafy vegetables, yeast, sprouts, and bananas. An element of vitamin B complex, pantothenic acid, is especially important in preventing stress. It has a deep effect on adrenal glands and the immune system; an adequate amount of this vitamin, along with vitamin A, can help prevent many of the changes caused by stress. Potassium deficiencies are associated with breathlessness, fatigue, insomnia, and low blood sugar. Potassium is essential for healthy heart muscles. Nuts and whole grains are good sources of this mineral. Calcium is a natural sedative. Deficiencies can cause fatigue, nervousness and tension. Dairy products, eggs, almonds, and soya beans are rich sources of this mineral. Magnesium is known as nature's tranquilliser and is associated with the prevention of heart attacks. It is found in many fruits, vegetables, seeds, dates, and prunes.

Stress treatment using Sage
The herb sage is considered valuable in stress. A tea prepared from the leaves of this plant should be given in the treatment of this condition. This tea is prepared by pouring a cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried sage leaves. The water should be covered and infused for several minutes. It should then be strained and sweetened, with honey, if desired. In the case of fresh leaves, a tablespoon of coarsely chopped sage leaves should be used and tea prepared in the same way.

Stress treatment using Holy Basil
The leaves of holy basil have been found beneficial in the treatment of stress. They are regarded as an anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves protect against stress significantly. It has been suggested that even healthy persons should chew twelve leaves of basil twice a day, morning and evening, for preventing stress

Asthma and its Remedies

Asthma is an ancient Greek word meaning 'panting or short drawn breath'. It is an allergic condition resulting from the reaction of the body to one or more allergens, and is the most troublesome of respiratory diseases. An asthma patient gets frequent attacks of breathlessness, in between which he may even be completely normal.

Symptoms of Asthma - Gasping for breath
Patients suffering from asthma appear to be gasping for breath. Actually, they have more difficulty in breathing out than breathing in, and this is caused by spasms or sudden involuntary muscular contractions of the smaller air passages in the lungs.

Causes of Asthma - Allergy caused by weather conditions
Asthma is caused by a variety of factors. It may be due to an allergy caused by weather conditions, food, drugs, perfumes, and other irritants. Allergies to dust are the most common.

Cures of Asthma - Some Remedies

Asthma treatment using Honey
Honey is one of the most common home remedies for asthma. It is said that if a jug of honey is held under the nose of an asthma patient and he inhales the air that comes into contact with it, he starts breathing easier and deeper.

Asthma treatment using Figs
Among fruits, figs have proved very valuable in asthma. They give comfort to the patient by draining off the phlegm. Three or four dry figs should be cleaned thoroughly with warm water and soaked overnight.

Asthma treatment using Lemon
Lemon is another fruit found beneficial in the treatment of asthma. The juice of one lemon, diluted in a glass of water and taken with meals, will bring good results.

Asthma treatment using Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry has also proved valuable in asthma. Five grams of gooseberry mixed with one tablespoon of honey forms an effective medicinal tonic for the treatment of this disease. It should be taken every morning.

Asthma treatment using Bitter Gourd Roots
The roots of the bitter gourd plant have been used in folk medicine for asthma since ancient times. A teaspoon of the root paste, mixed with an equal amount of honey or juice of the holy basil leaves, given once every night for a month, acts as an excellent medicine for this disease.

Asthma treatment using Drumstick Leaves
A soup prepared from drumstick leaves, and taken once daily, has been found beneficial in the treatment of asthma. This soup is prepared by adding a handful of leaves to 180ml of water and boiling it for five minutes. After being allowed to cool, a little salt, pepper, and lime juice may be added to this soup.

Asthma treatment using Ginger
A teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, mixed with a cup of fenugreek decoction and honey to taste, acts as an excellent expectorant in cases of asthma. The decoction of fenugreek can be made by mixing one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in a cupful of water. This remedy should be taken once in the morning and once in the evening.

Asthma treatment using Garlic
Garlic is another effective home remedy for asthma. Ten garlic cloves, boiled in 30 ml of milk, make an excellent medicine for the early stages of asthma. This mixture should he taken once daily by the patient. Steaming ginger tea with two minced garlic cloves in it, can also help to keep the problem under control, and should be taken in the morning and evening.

Ways to stop you from Smoking

No. 1: Know Why You Want to Quit
So you want to quit smoking, but do you know why? “Because it's bad for you” isn't good enough. To get motivated, you need a powerful, personal reason to quit. Maybe you want to protect your family from secondhand smoke. Maybe the thought of lung cancer frightens you. Or maybe you'd like to look and feel younger. Choose a reason that is strong enough to outweigh the urge to light up.

No. 2: Don't Go Cold Turkey
It may be tempting to toss your cigarettes and declare you've quit, plain and simple. But going cold turkey isn't easy to do. Among those who try to stop smoking without therapy or medication, 95% end up relapsing. The reason is that smoking is an addiction. The brain depends on nicotine. In its absence, the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal occur.

No. 3: Try Nicotine-Replacement Therapy
When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal may make you frustrated, depressed, restless, or angry. The craving for “just one drag” may be overwhelming. Nicotine-replacement therapy can reduce these feelings. Studies suggest nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches can help double your chances of quitting successfully when used with an intensive behavioral program. But using these products while smoking is generally not recommended.

No. 4: Ask About Prescription Pills
To ease nicotine withdrawal without using products that contain nicotine, ask your doctor about prescription medications. There are pills that reduce cravings by altering the areas of the brain affected by nicotine. This change may also make smoking less satisfying if you do pick up a cigarette. Other drugs can help reduce troubling withdrawal symptoms, such as depression or inability to concentrate.

No. 5: Don't Go It Alone
Tell your friends, family, and co-workers that you're trying to quit. Their encouragement could make the difference. You may also want to join a support group or talk to a counselor. Behavioral therapy is a type of counseling that helps you identify and stick to quit-smoking strategies. Combine behavioral therapy with nicotine-replacement products or medication to boost your odds of success.

No. 6: Manage Stress
One reason people smoke is that the nicotine helps them relax. Once you quit, you'll need another way to cope with stress. Try getting regular massages, listening to relaxing music, or learning yoga or tai chi. If possible, avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.

No. 7: Avoid Alcohol & Other Triggers
Certain activities may boost your urge to smoke. Alcohol is one of the most common triggers, so try to drink less when you first quit. If coffee is a trigger, switch to tea for a few weeks. And if you usually smoke after meals, find something else to do instead, like brushing your teeth or chewing gum.

No. 8: Clean House
Once you've smoked your last cigarette, toss all of your ashtrays and lighters. Wash any clothes that smell like smoke and clean your carpets, draperies, and upholstery. Use air fresheners to help rid your home of that familiar scent. You don't want to see or smell anything that reminds you of smoking.

No. 9: Try and Try Again
It's very common to have a relapse. Many smokers try several times before giving up cigarettes for good. Examine the emotions and circumstances that lead to your relapse. Use it as an opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to quitting. Once you've made the decision to try again, set a “quit date” within the next month.

No. 10: Get Moving
Physical activity can reduce nicotine cravings and ease some withdrawal symptoms. When you want to reach for a cigarette, put on your inline skates or jogging shoes instead. Even mild exercise is helpful, such as walking the dog or pulling weeds in the garden. The extra calories you burn will also ward off weight gain as you quit smoking.

No. 11: Eat Fruits & Veggies
Don't try to diet while giving up cigarettes – too much deprivation is bound to backfire. Instead, focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. A Duke University study suggests these foods make cigarettes taste terrible. This gives you a leg up in fighting your cravings while providing disease-fighting nutrients.

No. 12: Choose Your Reward
In addition to the tremendous health benefits, one of the perks of giving up cigarettes is all the money you will save. Reward yourself by spending part of it on something fun.

No. 13: Do It for Your Health
There's more than the monetary reward to consider. Smoking cessation has immediate health benefits. It lowers your blood pressure and reduces your pulse after only 20 minutes. Within a day, oxygen and carbon monoxide levels in your blood return to normal, and risk of a heart attack decreases. Long-term benefits include a reduced risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and other cancers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sauna and its benefits

Sauna is one of the best way of loosing way. But you must be cautious of using sauna.

If you're in reasonable health, the benefits of a sauna or steam bath are great. If you have high blood pressure or heart disease, saunas may be good for you, but you'll want to be cautious; check with your physician first, and go easy. And with either of these conditions, it's not a good idea to jump right into cold water afterward, as Finns always do.

When you take a sauna, the heat pumps up blood circulation near the skin and stimulates sweating. The Finns say a proper sauna elicits about a quart of sweat per hour. I generally encourage sweating. It helps the body rid itself of unwanted materials and improves general circulation. In medieval times, healers relied on saunas to cure illnesses, and priests used their heat to chase away evil spirits. In the United States there's a lot of concern about pregnant women taking steam baths or saunas.

A study published four years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association found some association between neural-tube defects and heat exposure from saunas, hot tubs, and fever during the first three months of pregnancy. (Neural-tube defects include anencephaly and spina bifida, both disastrous abnormalities.)

The biggest problem was hot tubs, which pregnant women should approach cautiously. Interestingly, though, in Finland it's not uncommon for doctors to give the OK on saunas from conception all the way up to the day of delivery - and there, neural-tube defects are very low. In fact, in Finland saunas were once a traditional place for childbirth. It's worth noting that Finnish women tend to stay in the sauna for six to twelve minutes, and they shorten that time during pregnancy. Also, saunas raise the body's core temperature insignificantly compared to hot tubs. Finnish saunas also tend to be different from most US versions - unless these are run by Scandinavians. In Finland, saunas are usually heated by a wood stove. First there's a dry phase that can get hotter than 200° F. Then the participants splash water on the stove and spend some time in the steam. Many US saunas employ an electric stove, which you can't put water on. So you're just exposed to dry heat, which I find irritating to my respiratory passages. Some saunas in health clubs are set to a lukewarm temperature. Turn up the heat. Even if you're in a very hot steam bath or sauna, it's mostly the temperature of the surface of your body that goes up. As it increases, blood vessels dilate, and circulation in the skin climbs.

As resistance to blood flow through your veins and capillaries drops, your blood pressure goes down. Then your heartbeat increases to keep blood pressure normal. Finns always follow a sauna with a plunge into cold water. I find this incredibly refreshing and enjoyable, and healthy as well. Then you relax afterwards.

The main risk of a sauna is staying in too long and fainting from overheating. People who are most susceptible to this are those with heart disease or who have been using drugs or alcohol. It really isn't a good idea to combine drinking or other drugs with a sauna or hot tub. Children should not use saunas without supervision. Also, be sure you drink plenty of water, to replace the water you're losing.

By the way, the correct pronunciation is sow-na, not saw-na.

According to Dr. Weil

Friday, May 01, 2009

Contact Lenses and its Usage

Contact lenses are a safe and effective way to correct your vision. However, this is only true if you use your contact lenses with care and under the proper supervision on your doctor. Failure to do so can result in adverse effects on your vision health.

In addition to the contact lens handling and care instructions provided by your doctor and your particular brand of contact lenses, these simple do's and don'ts will help keep your eyes healthy and your contact lenses working properly.


  • Follow the directions that come with your lenses.
  • Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses.
  • Clean and disinfect reusable lenses each time they are removed.
  • Store lenses in the proper contact lens storage case.
  • Always use fresh contact lens solution.
  • Get your doctor's permission before taking medicines or using topical eye products.
  • Remove your contact lenses and contact your doctor if you have vision changes, eye redness, eye discomfort, pain and/or excessive tearing.
  • Handle contact lenses over a clean and lint free towel.
  • See your optometrist for your regularly scheduled contact lens and eye examination.

  • Use tap water, distilled water or saline water for any part of your contact lens care.
  • Use saliva to wet your contact lenses.
  • Mix different brands of cleaner or solution.
  • Change your contact lens-care products without your doctor's advice.
  • Let cosmetics lotions, sprays or creams touch your contact lenses.
  • Wear daily-wear contact lenses during sleep.
  • Wear contact lenses when swimming or when in a hot tub.
  • Wear your contact lenses longer than prescribed by your doctor.
  • Experiment with your contact lenses by using food coloring to tint them.
  • Share your contact lenses with anyone.
The blog title speaks for itself. This blog offers information on Foods and Healthy Living. You'll find topics ranging from Healthy Foods, Balance Diet, Healthy Recipes and many more.