Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Good morning my fellow bloggites! How are you this steamy sticky Wednesday morning? I am just dandy. I had a good night's rest, the kids are off to school, and I got a busy schedule ahead of me! Let me be the first to wish you a HAPPY National Second Hand Wardrobe Day! Whether its passed down to you from a relative or bought at a thrift store... today is the day you should put it on and let it shine!

Alright, first on the agenda this morning would be to address something that effcts everyone at one point and time in our lives... it does not discriminate on age, sex, weight, religion, nothing! And it can even kill you if you have too much, can't handle, or don't deal with it. I know this all too well. Boys and girls I am talking about STRESS! Millions of things, both very little and very big, cause us stress all the time. Sometimes when we don't even really realize it. The less stressed you can be, the healthier you can become. I am working on this. I also found an article that gives some tips on some things you can EAT to help with stress. WAIT A MINUTE! You mean to tell me that there can be GOOD stress eating?!?!? OMG tell me more! Ok, I will LOL! Read this article about some stress fighting foods!

7 Best Stress-Fighting Foods
By David Zinczenko

I send out a lot of info on my Twitter feed, from nutrition news to management tips. I get the most passionate reaction—and the most retweets—when I talk about stress. In fact, a friend of mine recently told me that stress was her biggest dietary villain. “I eat when I’m stressed,” she said.

To which I reacted, “Good!” You should eat when you’re stressed—it’s our bodies’ natural reaction to want to store calories to face whatever challenge is causing the stress in the first place. The key, however, is to eat what your body wants—the foods that actually counteract the effects of stress, and make you stronger (and leaner) when the tough times pass. So next time anxiety runs high, be sure to grab one of these seven stress-fighting foods.

(And while you're at it, be sure to follow my Twitter feed for hundreds of instant nutrition and health secrets like these.)

Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a magic nutrient that could stop the flow of stress hormones—the very hormones that make your body superefficient at storing fat calories? Wouldn’t you want to gobble that food up like crazy, especially if it tasted great? Half a medium papaya carries nearly 75 percent more vitamin C than an orange, and provides potent protection against stress. Researchers at the University of Alabama found 200 milligrams of vitamin C—about as much as you’ll find in one large papaya—twice a day nearly stopped the flow of stress hormones in rats. It should work for you, too.

Other smart sources of vitamin C: Red bell peppers, broccoli, oranges

Bonus Tip: The closer an ingredient is to its original form, the healthier it is for you. Avoid the worst side of the nutritional spectrum by familiarizing yourself with this shocking list of The 15 Worst Food Creations of 2010.

Peppermint Tea
The mere scent of peppermint helps you focus and boosts performance, according to researchers. Another study discovered that peppermint tea makes drivers more alert and less anxious.

Other smart sources of peppermint: Peppermint candy and peppermint oil

Bonus Tip: Beware of disastrous drinks that only pretend to be healthy. Avoid 2,000-calorie shakes, 1,500-calorie smoothies, and other big offenders in this eye-popping list of The 20 Worst Drinks in America in 2010.

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with stress-busting potential thanks to high levels of magnesium. Only about 30 percent of us meet our daily magnesium requirements, placing the rest of us at a higher risk for stress symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, tension, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness and high blood pressure. (Basically we’re frayed wires, and magnesium is the electrical tape that can pull us back together.) A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds gives you half your day’s magnesium requirements.

Other smart sources of magnesium: Spinach, Swiss chard, black beans, soybeans, salmon

The healthy fats buried in the avocado’s flesh make it an ideal choice when you’re craving something rich and creamy. The reasons? Monounsaturated (healthy) fatty acids, and potassium--both of which help combat high blood pressure. Avocado fat is 66 percent monounsaturated, and gram-for-gram, the green fruit has about 35 percent more potassium than a banana. Whip up a fresh guacamole or slice a few slivers over toast and top with fresh ground pepper.

Other smart sources of potassium: Squash, papaya, spinach, bananas, lentils

Not only does omega-3 fat protect against heart disease and cognitive decline, but according to a study from Diabetes & Metabolism, the wonder fat is also responsible for maintaining healthy levels of cortisol. And what’s the world’s best source of omega-3s? Salmon. But there’s another trick in salmon’s arsenal—a sleep-promoting amino acid called tryptophan. One salmon filet has as much tryptophan as you need in an entire day, and if there’s one remedy for stress, it’s a good night of blissful Zs.

Other smart sources of omega-3 fats: Flaxseeds, walnuts, sardines, halibut

Other smart sources of tryptophan: Chicken, tuna, beef, soybeans

Bonus Tip: The favorite trick of your friendly neighborhood restaurant? Substituting salt for flavor. Studies have linked high-salt foods to increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and even heart disease--and experts recommend getting no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium in your diet each day. Keep your salt intake in check by cooking with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients—and by dodging the salty disasters in this list of the 30 Saltiest Foods in America.

The almond's first stress-buster is the aforementioned monounsaturated fats, but at risk of belaboring that point, let’s look at another almond-centered, mind-calming nutrient: vitamin E. In one study, Belgium researchers treated pigs with a variety of nutrients just before sticking them in a transportation simulator (basically a vibrating crate). After 2 hours of simulation, only those pigs treated with tryptophan and vitamin E had non-elevated levels of stress hormones. Almonds, thankfully, are loaded with vitamin E. To reach your day’s requirement from almonds alone, you need to eat about 40 to 50 nuts. Or you can mix them with other vitamin-E rich foods to save calories and add more dietary variety.

Other smart sources of vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, olives, spinach, papaya

A biochemical effect of stress is a depleted stock of serotonin, the hormone that makes you feel cool, calm, and in control. One reliable strategy for boosting serotonin back to healthy levels is to increase your intake of carbohydrates. That said, scarfing down Ding Dongs and doughnuts isn’t a sustainable solution. Rather, to induce a steady flow of serotonin, aim to eat fiber-rich, whole-grain carbohydrates. The slower rate of digestion will keep seratonin production steady and prevent the blood sugar rollar-coaster that leads to mood swings and mindless eating.

Other sources of fiber-rich carbohydrates: Quinoa, barley, whole-wheat bread, Triscuits

Now it's time to talk crafts. Molly over at the Purl Bee has something I absolutely fell in love with! Giant Strawberries! Now you know that there is a huge berry bandit running rampit somewhere in my house that hides from me and I can never seem to catch LOL. But every time I go to the Farmer's Market, it manages to eat my crate of strawberries! LOL! I love them so much that once I saw this craft I have contemplated redo-ing one of my rooms in the house in a strawberry decor! OMG these are just too cute! Make sure to go to the site for the step by step photos and instructions. They are pretty easy to make and cute as a... well a BERRY! LOL!

Craft Idea of the Day: Giant Strawberry Pillows


1 1/2-yards of Kiyohara Organic Woven Dots in Pink
1 1/2-yards of Kiyohara Organic Woven Dots in Red
1/2-yard of Organic Cotton Duck in Avocado
Two bags of Stuffing
A spool of light green thread to match the cotton duck, I used color #8975
A spool of neutral thread for sewing the berries
A ball of cotton embroidery floss
A Creative Grids 6.5-inch by 24.5-inch ruler or a protractor
A Strawberry Pillow Stem Template printed and cut out, available for free here

Ok folks, time for another crazy pick for your MEMORABLE MOVIES week. Today in the theme of destressing our lives, I have picked a light-hearted movie full of hope, humor, and the goodness of humankind. The movie is called "Michael" starring John Travolta, Andie McDowell, William Hurt, Bob Hoskins, Robert Pastorelli, Jean Stapleton, and even Teri Garr. (Synopsis: Frank Quinlan and Huey Driscoll, two reporters from a Chicago-based tabloid, along with Dorothy Winters, an 'angel expert', are asked to travel to rural Iowa to investigate a claim from an old woman that she shares her house with a real, live archangel named Michael. Upon arrival, they see that her claims are true - but Michael is not what they expected: he smokes, drinks beer, has a very active libido and has a rather colourful vocabulary. In fact, they would never believe it were it not for the two feathery wings protruding from his back. Michael agrees to travel to Chicago with the threesome, but what they don't realise is that the journey they are about to undertake will change their lives forever.) Ok, so in this movie, they are at a tavern and they order pie... lots and lots of pie! They even make Andie McDowell's character sing a song about pie. OMG I love pie! I can't help but to sing the song everytime I even think about pie! Its a super cute movie, so if you haven't seen it, definitely check it out! And with that, I have picked 5 super yummy pies for you today... although there are literally thousands of types of pies out there! Eat & Enjoy!

Saskatoon Pie

A not-too-sweet and fruity pie. Saskatoon berries are known as serviceberries in the United States. This berry has often been compared with blueberries though it has more of an apple flavor


4 cups fresh serviceberries
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large saucepan, simmer berries in 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice with berries. Combine sugar and flour together in a medium bowl, then stir into berry mixture. Pour mixture into a pastry lined 9 inch pie pan. Dot with butter. Place second crust on top of pie; seal and flute edges.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie


1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup whipped topping
10 peanut butter cups, divided
1 chocolate crumb crust (9 inches)


In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until smooth and light. Fold in the whipped topping. Coarsely chop half of the peanut butter cups; stir into cream cheese mixture.

Spoon into crust. Quarter remaining peanut butter cups; arrange over top.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers.

Sunshine Pie
By: Cool Whip

"A creamy layer, a fluffy pudding layer, and a topping made with fresh orange zest fill the graham cracker crust of this sweet, no-bake orange pie."


1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk, divided
1 (8 ounce) tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 (6 ounce) HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 (3.4 ounce) package JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding


Beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup condensed milk with mixer until well blended. Whisk in 1/2 cup COOL WHIP. Spread onto bottom of crust.

Whisk orange juice, remaining condensed milk and dry pudding mix in medium bowl 2 minutes. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the remaining COOL WHIP. Spread over cream cheese layer.

Stir orange zest into remaining COOL WHIP; spread over pie. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Caramel Pecan Pie

Buttery, nutty, and a touch of caramel, this is a very yummy pie! Full of flavor! Serve hot or cold, with a good size dollop of whipped topping or vanilla ice cream."


1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
36 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecan halves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) In a saucepan over low heat, combine caramels, butter and milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually mix in the melted caramel mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool until filling is firm.

Nectarine Pie


2/3 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
5 nectarines
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Place a large pot of water over high heat, and bring to a boil.

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, heavy cream and almond extract. Set aside.

Place the nectarines in boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds. Immediately place nectarines under cold running water and remove skins. Cut nectarines in half and remove pits. Place halves in the pie shell with the cut side down. Pour the cream mixture around the nectarines.

Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes. Good served warm or cold.

Well kids, I'm outta here! I am off to clean, freecycle, sew, and whatever else suits my fancy! Thanks for joining me today and I say... let them eat pie! LOL! Be smart, be safe, and be frugal in whatever life leads you to today! Until tomorrow... HUGS!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie "MOM"August 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    Very good article on destressing foods that you found for us today. I am proud to say I utilize all but two of them in one form or another. I am all about being stress free. It does no one any good to be at the edge of your last nerve and fixing to explode. Most of my days are stress free because I make them that way. I refuse to be on edge or in a trauma drama every other minute. It zaps your energy and makes you feel lousy. Who needs that? NOT ME!!
    PIE.... As my kids all say "I LIKE PIE". And the ones today on the blog look delicious, especially that caramel pecan pie. YUM!! Wonder how difficult that one is to make? Most of the time when I try to make pecan pies they seem to cook wrong or too fast or something because the top gets too hard. Never could figure out what I was doing wrong and finally just stopped making them. I am fixing to start learning how to cook with sugar substitute because of mine and DH's Diabetes, so this project should be interesting but maybe easy enough to where we can have PIE on a regular basis again. At least I hope so! LOL
    Hope everyones day is great and what you want it to be. Remember, a smile is the perfect random act of kindness. It shows you care and its free. Til next time.....