Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Review of What E. Coli is and How to Prevent Infection
The abbreviated E. Coli stands for Escherichia (named after a German physician ) Coli (pertaining to the colon) and the Mosby Medical Dictionary defines it as "...a bacteria...normally present in the intestines...." In other words, all humans and animals have E. coli as the normal flora within their intestines which explains why it is the number one cause of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). The term "Flora" simply means a living organism occurring or adapted for living in a particular environment, such as your intestinal tract. E. coli has also been pegged as the main cause of "traveler's diarrhea."
It is dangerous when large colonies of E. coli are ingested and then enter the bloodstream. Children and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for serious illness or death.
The best way to prevent E. coli infection is to:
  • Wash hands thoroughly after using the restroom or changing a diaper.
  • Wash hands before eating.
  • Wash hands after working in soil.
  • Cook meat to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Do not thaw at room temperature.
  • Disinfect counters and cutting boards.
  • Designate separate cutting boards for meat and produce.
  • Do not leave milk, eggs, or left-overs out for too long, especially during the summer.
  • Rinse produce in a colander in a clean sink.
  • Be aware that unpasteurized milk may contain E. coli.
  • Be alert to food recalls.
  • See your doctor immediately if you have severe cramping, uncontrolled diarrhea, bloody stools or simply suspect that you have been infected.
  • This is by no means a complete list. Feel free to add your own common sense practices.
Finding the source of an E. coli outbreak is not easy and takes time. Patients reporting symptoms must complete a week-long food recall and then it needs to be analyzed and investigated.
It may appear that America is being bombarded with way too many food recalls, but we actually have some of the strictest standards compared to other countries.
• Do those standards need to be reviewed and improved periodically? Yes.
• Do we need more manpower to enforce these standards? Yes.
• Does having some of the best standards mean we shouldn't be responsible consumers? Certainly not. This is why we have some the best consumers in the world too.
Americans, for the most part, are demanding safer food practices and they want to know what is in their food and why it's there. This is all part of the checks and balances that help keep our food harvesting, packaging, and distribution accountable.
It's a good practice to periodically review food borne illness and how to prevent it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quinoa, What is it and How Do I Use it in My Diet

Brief history and practical uses for Quinoa, now found in most U.S. grocery stores.
Quinoa (keen-wah) is considered an ancient food product used as a major staple by the Inca Indians in South America. It is also referred to as the "mother grain." 
Most quinoa still comes from South America although growth and research are being conducted in Colorado due to its higher elevations and cooler climate where quinoa seems to thrive.
Nutritionally Dense:
The reason for Quinoa's popularity is due to its nutritional content, including:
• fiber
• calcium
• copper
• zinc
• phosphorus
• magnesium
• iron
• protein; consisting of a complete set of amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, cystine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, valine.
• gluten-free making it suitable for celiac patients and even dog treats for dogs with food allergies.
Buying Quinoa:
You can find Quinoa in just about any grocery store or specialty foods market. Check the references below for more information.
Quinoa preparation:
The Quinoa grain needs to be soaked and boiled in order to remove the bitter saponin compounds that are not edible. Follow package directions.
Cooking with Quinoa:
Quinoa is used to make flour for breads, biscuits and cereals, soups and more. Vegetarians may find this an ideal source of amino acids but it can certainly compliment any diet. The sodium content is low which may be a plus for patients with high blood pressure.
Quinoa recipes and information: or

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Avocados Contain Many Nutrients...with Recipe

The Avocados Nutritional Density Are Why They Have Taken "Center Stage" in Many Health Studies

Avocados have been reported in a good and a bad light - a bad light because of their fat content and a good light because of their vitamin and mineral content. Now they're being studied extensively for their possible benefits to arthritis sufferers.
The fact is, the fat in an avocado is monounsaturated, mostly from oleic acid, and low in saturated fat. Many companies use avocado oils in their skin care products because of its ability to penetrate beneath the epidermis more effectively. This allows nutrients to be carried deep into the skins layers.
Avocados from a dietary perspective contain such nutrients as:
• potassium, copper, folate
• fat soluble vitamins: E and K
• water soluble vitamins: C and B6.
• carotenoids; lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and zeanthin.
A 2007 article in: Better Nutrition cited that:
"carotenoids are best absorbed into the bloodstream when combined with dietary fat, avocados provide the perfect vehicle for delivering these nutrients into the cells."
Jason Theodosakis, MD and author of The Arthritis Cure was also cited in the Better Nutrition article talking about avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU). This product has shown promise in improving pain and stiffness in knee and hip osteoarthritis. Although studies do not extend to children, pregnant or nursing women. Any trial with this new supplement should first be discussed with your doctor.
The oleic acid may also protect against mutations that could lead to cancer and research continues in this area as well.
Some ways to get avocados in your diet include cutting them up in a salad, putting them on burgers including Boca burgers, and, of course, a low-fat guacamole recipe. Try visiting a recipe website and type "avocado" in the search line and you're bound to get a myriad of recipe ideas.
Avocado Smoothie
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Greek, plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey
2 Tablespoons frozen berries such as blueberries or blackberries
Combine the above ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into beverage glass and enjoy!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Increase Your Income for 2012 by Decreasing Your Food Bill

It's time to merge the past with the present. How can we maximize the food bill in order to increase incoming revenue?
1. Make large batches of Cookie Dough and freeze in separate containers.
  • Save margarine and other food tubs.
  • Purchase inexpensive, no-brand freezer tubs.
  • Thaw one tub in the refrigerator at a time, and cook in batches;
for example: bake enough for everyone in the family to have 2-4 cookies. Each tub should keep for up to a week in the refrigerator as long as you don't let it sit at room temperature for prolonged periods of time.
  • Firm cookie dough recipes will freeze well in freezer baggies.
2. Save those Ham Bones and boil in a stock pot for a soup base. Then freeze in large tub containers.
  • Use the base for potato, leek soup.
  • Do not add potatoes. They become grainy after freezing. Instead, add the potatoes (if desired) after thawing and cooking.
  • Do add onions and leeks ahead of time. Optional: add mustard seed and dill weed
  • Or, use the base for bean and ham soup.
3. Buy large cans of Tomato Sauce , on sale, and make tomato-based sauces and soups..
  • Add ground beef, venison or small chunks of lean beef, plus onions, garlic, oregano or marjoram and finely chopped green peppers while cooking, then freeze
  • Use some of the base to make minestrone soup which freezes well. Just add a little water, garbanzo beans and chopped zucchini and tomatoes.
  • You can also use this base for chili. Just add some beans, such as: black beans and/or chili beans.
  • You can certainly apply this process to turkey bones as well.
4. If you have a Bread Machine , start making whole-grain loaves, then wrap snuggly in plastic wrap or freezer paper and freeze for later use.
These are just a few of MANY options for saving money and time on food.
  • Get together with friends and have a freezer food exchange.
  • Pool your money with friends and go in on bulk food items.
  • Look for bumped and bruised deals on fruit that can be used for freezer jam. Just cut the bruising out and use the good part.
  • Shop the day-old bread cart and look for bread items that are suitable for freezing.
  • Start a garden.
Some of the large, bulk stores have good prices on large bags of unbleached sugar and flour.