Tips To Make The Best Cup Of Coffee

Coffee is one of those drinks that everyone seems to enjoy drinking. However, everyone seems to have different ideas on how to make the best cup of coffee. With that being said here is what we feel is the best way to make a fantastic cup of coffee. Once you try the method that we have listed, we are sure that you are going to find this is the one method that you are going to want to use each time you decide to make a cup of coffee.

The first thing that you will need is a French Press. In all of our experiments we have found the best way to get the vibrant flavors and bold taste that we want is using a press. This way you are able to brew the coffee the way that you want to have it brewed, but also know that it is going to make a difference in the taste quality that you are going to get.

When you get the press, you will want to add in a scoop of your vibrant coffee into the bottom of the press. By getting this you will have the coffee in the bottom of the press and ready to have some water added into it. After the coffee has been added into the bottom of the press you will want to boil some water until your kettle is whistling. When it starts to whistle you will want to carefully put some of the water into the press. You need to be careful here because it will cause the grounds to start to float and pouring slowly or you could end up getting the water come splashing up and out towards your hands.

When the water has been added you will need to slowly take the press part of the coffee press and put it down into the water. You will only need it deep enough to cover up the press. Let it sit like this for a few minutes to allow the grounds to start to settle. By doing this you will not have as many coffee grounds in your cup. Then you will just want to finish pushing down the press until your cup of coffee is completely ready.

After that you are now ready to pour the coffee out of the press and into your cup. Just make sure your taste buds are ready to have some of the best tasting coffee they have ever had.

A guide to herbal teas

I drink a lot of hot tea. At first, I started drinking hot tea because I was not a coffee fan but I wanted to have something with a little bit of caffeine in the mornings. However, now I am a bit of a coffee addict and gotta have that caffeine. So that means tea is usually a before bed beverage for me. And if I get cold during the day I have some or if I am not feeling well.

Here are some ingredients you can find in various types of herbal teas and what they can do for you health-wise that you might not have been aware of.

Peppermint

Having some tummy problems? Tea with peppermint in it can take care of any indigestion problems that you might be having. According to my research, fresh or dried mint tea is a great way to ease stubborn indigestion and gas and to quell nausea and vomiting. You should be careful not to grab a tea that has another mint, like spearmint, because only true peppermint contains the digestive aid menthol.

Ginger

A lot of times you will see a tea that has both ginger and peppermint in it. Guess why? They both cure the same tummy problems. Ever heard someone tell you to drink ginger ale if you have an upset tummy? Ginger tea has the same purpose.

Thyme

If you are having some chest cough type of problems look for some tea with thyme in it. Thyme reduces cough, bronchitis, sinus pressure. Sip on some thyme tea to help relax the bronchial spasms that trigger coughing due to colds or bronchitis.

Passion flower

Having trouble sleeping? Look for some tea that has passionflower in it. Passionflower has have proven, gentle sedating qualities. In fact, passionflower is recommended by herbalists as a top treatment for insomnia, and it is especially helpful when sleep is disturbed by anxiety.

Lemon balm

Feeling restless? Have some anxiety issues? Try some tea with lemon balm. Drink some of this before bed as it helps tame tension, nervousness, and a mild case of the blues.

Chamomile

I am sure that we all know that chamomile tea is supposed to be relaxing, but there is more to it than that! It is a mild, relaxing tea that contains oils that relax the smooth muscles in the stomach. If you have about three cups daily it will ease indigestion, irritable bowel problems, and colitis. And not to mention it is a great way to relax before bedtime.

 

Ways to stay full without gaining a new pant size

Looking for ways to stay full through out the day without over eating? Sometimes I have found that I think I am hungry and before I know it I have over eaten. Not only does that leave me feeling pretty horrible, but it can lead to me need some larger pants! And I certainly do not want that 🙂

Here are some of the things that I have learned along the way that help me to stay full without getting to full or to big for my pants!

1. Eat a filling breakfast. Skip the donuts or other pastry items. Get yourself a breakfast that will stick with you like a hearty bowl of oatmeal.

2. Focus on food when eating.Numerous studies have shown that people that are preoccupied with things like watching TV while eating end up eating more than when they are not preoccupied. Focus on your food and you will enjoy it more and stay full longer.

3. Go for fruit instead of juice. Have a choice between a bottle of apple juice and an apple? Go for the apple and you will stay full longer.

4. Eat fiber rich foods. It is no secret that fiber packing food like broccoli keeps you fuller longer.

5. Take a multivitamin daily. Sometimes we eat things because our body craves them due to us not having enough of something in our system. If you take a multivitamin you can reduce that from happening to you.

6. Eat 5 meals instead of 3. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day try to break it up into 5 or 6 low calorie meals. Not only will it keep you full all day long but it will make sure your metabolism does not slow down!

7. Drink water. Don’t drink your calories in soda. Instead drink water all day long. Sometimes we think we are hungry when we are really just dehydrated. At the first sign of hunger, drink a glass of water and see if that takes care of it.

8. Try some chewing gum. Sometimes if we think we are hungry chewing some gum can take care of that hunger. Studies have shown that something about mimicking the chewing of food like that makes the body think that it is getting food. As a bonus it keeps the metabolism reving too.

9. Eat a salad or broth-based soup before your meal. Studies have shown that people that eat a salad or cup of soup before eating not only don’t eat as much but they stay full longer.

10. Give your food time to digest. Did you just eat but still feel hungry? It takes your body about 20 minutes to digest that food, so give it some time and see if you are still hungry. Chances are you won’t be!

 

Weight watchers – do you flex? or do you focus on healthy eating habits?

I grew up with my mother on a perpetual Weight Watchers diet program. In fact, the last time I visited her she was writing down her points before she ate meals. Over the last few months I have had three other people in my life join the Weight Watchers band wagon. With the new additions I began hearing about a new aspect of the program I was not familiar with – flex points.

Since I did grow up in a Weight Watchers household I was a bit confused as I saw the latest two additions to the Weight Watchers bandwagon shoveling in three servings of cake each after eating a plate of junk this past weekend. Then they told me that they were using their ‘flex points’ for the day. As you might imagine I found it a bit odd that Weight Watchers would now allow free gorging one day a week. So, I looked up the whole flex points thing.

Apparently the new Weight Watchers plan offers up flex points in addition to your daily target points. Each week you are allowed 35 flex points, regardless of what your daily point target is. The flex points are intended to be used on days that you need to splurge a little. Say you have a birthday party you want to go to and you want to have some cake, so just use some flex points. They key with the flex points is that they are to be used in moderation throughout the week. The people that I know were saving them up for one day a week and the going crazy. So, one of them had a target of 22 points a day but eats 57 points every Saturday.

I fail to see how this is a good idea. Clearly the intention of the people at Weight Watchers was not to have people having 60 point days once a week. Maybe it was, but I seriously doubt it. I wonder though if my friends will be able to actually lose weight by sabotaging their diet one day a week? I say they might not do so well. We know that 3500 calories = 1 pound. So, I suspect that they both easily consumed 3500 calories on Saturday based on what I saw them eat and the fact that they told me they had McDonald’s for lunch. That means that the other 6 days would have to have been a decrease in their normal calories over 3500.

I’m not sure why people who clearly want to stuff themselves with things that are horrible for them go on diets in the first place. I think maybe the whole problem is diets versus new eating habits. For instance, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I am trying to decrease my sodium intake to lower my blood pressure. As a result I am noticing that I am extremely sensitive to salt now. For example hot dogs have an insane amount of sodium in them. I eat the Ball Park Fat Free Franks (made with beef, pork and turkey) as they are some of the lowest in sodium. When I found out that I needed to lower my sodium I had 2 packs of these in the freezer that I am now going to eat in moderation since one has 440 mg of sodium. Anyways, I have been eating around 1500 mg of sodium per day and today I had no sodium for breakfast and will only have 150 mg in my dinner so I decided to have one hot dog for lunch. It tasted so salty! There is no way I can eat as many of those as I used to. See, that is a healthier eating habit. My friends are keeping so much crap in their diets that they aren’t going to be able to develop healthy eating habits!

Here are some of my new healthy eating habits that I have established over the past few months:

1. Portion control – I don’t have to eat everything on my plate. I stop when I am full. And I only put a small amount on my plate to begin with and most times that is enough. As a bonus I end up with more leftovers!

2. More whole grains. Not only are whole grains like oatmeal full of heart-healthy fiber, but they are low in sodium too! I have oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning, make scones with oats for snacks and eat a lot of brown rice.

3 . More fresh fruits and veggies. The key here is FRESH! Canned veggies are loaded with sodium. (rinsing the veggies gets rid of some of that) If I cannot get fresh fruit and veggies I go for frozen ones. If you have not had frozen cherries as a snack you do not know what you are missing! Seriously! Go get some now! I eat them when I am craving something sweet.

4. Water. Not only is it good for your skin but drinking water helps your belly think its full. A great way to eat less when you don’t need it.

5. Avoid restaurants. I used to dine out at least four nights a week. Now I barely go out three times a month. Restaurant food is loaded with sodium and calories. And if you don’t cook it you can’t control what is in it! Nevermind the fact that I can usually make better food at home.

Developing new healthy eating habits is an ongoing process for me. Unfortunately it is not something that can be accomplished overnight. It takes some hard work and definite dedication. But I know it is worth it because it’s for my body and it’s the only one I’ve got!

5 Vacation Diet Tips

For many people, vacation is an excuse to forget about healthy diet. If you’re on a particularly long vacation, watch out what you eat. You don’t want to get home unable to fit into your clothes. You can still try the local cuisine in your destination, but don’t overindulge.

Know your destination.

Every place has its own local foods, but one thing is for sure. There are healthy foods as well as not so healthy ones. Looking up local foods online before you even get there allows you to identify foods that are good.

Pack healthy snacks.

Eat your meal before traveling, too, so you won’t have to get hungry in the middle of your trip. If you expect the trip to be several hours long, pack a full meal.

Avoid being tempted to buy high-fat or sugary snacks at the airport or train station by making your own turkey sandwich or salad, which you can eat on board. If you have little time for preparation, spread peanut butter on whole grain bread. You can also pack nuts, dried fruit, or low fat crackers to eat if you get hungry. The Kitchn has some good idea for snacks.

Be careful when dining out.

You can’t cook at the hotel unless you’re booked to a room with cooking amenities. Most travelers don’t choose such lavish accommodations and don’t really like the idea of cooking when they’re supposed to be spending the time immersing themselves in the community.

The tip to make sure you end up with nutritious foods, which don’t make you pack unwanted fat during your vacation, is to order baked or grilled meat or fish. Usually, foods that are prepared with simple methods have lower fat and sugar content than those prepared with a lot of ingredients.

Stay away from fried and creamy foods. Opt out on foods with sauces and toppings. Cheese, mayo, and butter can add so much unnecessary calories.

Drink distilled water instead of soda.

It’s tempting to grab a can of soda after you have basked in the tropical sun and are feeling thirsty. A can of soda has more or less 100 calories. The same amount of water has zero calories. It’s easy to ingest too much sugar in your body by drinking several bottles or cans of soda in a day. But if you’re in a foreign country or anyplace where you’re unsure of the water quality, opt for bottled distilled water instead. Carry a bottle of water wherever you go.

It’s okay to taste the local delicacies.

After all, you visited a new place to learn about its culture and cuisine. Why restrict yourself to a few options when you can have a few bites of what that place has to offer? Having a few bites is different from overindulging yourself. A shot of a local wine isn’t so bad, so is a serving of their popular dessert or dish.

Best Snacks to Eat Before Bedtime

bedtime snacks

What if you crawl to your bed realizing the dinner you had wasn’t too satisfying and you’re famished and you’re craving for something to snack on? Sleeping on rambling stomach after a not so satiating dinner is not a very good idea. A 150-calorie snack before bedtime may just do the trick of making the hunger pangs go. This isn’t binging on your bed, by the way. And, it needs to be something that won’t interfere with your sleep.

What to munch on?

Crackers with cottage cheese

This is a good carb and protein snack that may just put your brain into sleep mode. Cottage cheese is rich in protein, which your brain needs to make tryptophan, a sleep-promoting amino acid. Crackers, on the other hand, give you carbohydrates that make tryptophan more readily available to the brain. For better sleeping benefits, put a slice of kiwi on your crackers. Kiwi contains antioxidants that work on neurotransmitters that help you nod off.

Rice?

You were not expecting this. If the new research on rice is true, then eating rice can actually help you doze off at night. Rice has a high glycemic index, which helps in the production of melatonin and tryptophan, two things you need for better sleep. Don’t over-indulge, though. Get a small bowl rice. Add some milk on it.

Ham and Cheese

A slice of ham and cheese gives you a snack that is rich in tryptophan and casein. It may give you a bit more calories than necessary, but not too much to make you gain a pound, unless you do it every night. Did you know casein improves your metabolism? You have one more reason to eat some cheese.

Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in melatonin, and eating walnuts is a sure way to raise the levels of melatonin in your body. As mentioned, melatonin is important in regulating your sleep patterns. People who are low in melatonin tend to suffer from insomnia. But because walnuts, or any type of nuts, are high in calories, a handful before bedtime ought to do the trick.

Whole Grain Toast

Whole grain bread is rich in complex carbs, which don’t raise your blood sugar levels. You don’t need high sugar levels right before bedtime. Whole grains also have significant magnesium content. Low levels of magnesium may cause insomnia. It so happens that 7 in 10 adults lack magnesium in their diet. To boost the dose of magnesium, spread almond butter on your toast.

Banana and Milk Smoothie

You need calcium and vitamin D to sleep properly. Get these nutrients from low-fat milk. Banana adds flavor without adding sugar. It also adds vitamin B6 and magnesium. Your brain needs vitamin B6 to make serotonin, another neurotransmitter responsible for lowering your alertness.