We always look forward to receiving poetry on any subject at http://www.poetreecreations.org
Please send your poetry to: email@example.com
Photo by kind permission of Katrina the book buyer in Waterston’s Nottingham today
Preparing to put my book on sale.
Manners Bear And Friends is a children’s poetry book based on manners. The book is £6.95 plus p&p
ISBN No: 9780956400628
If you would like to order the book you can buy at Waterstone’s Nottingham or online
Or order direct from us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Weighing in at over four tons, a contender for the world’s largest Easter egg was unveiled to a crowd of chocolate lovers in Argentina today.
Twenty-seven bakeries worked for two weeks to make enough chocolate for the gargantuan concoction wheeled in to the Chocolate Festival in Bariloche.
Towering over 27ft high (8.5m) and 16ft wide (5m), the sweet treat required a reported 8,800lbs (4,000kgs) of chocolate, hovering over a sea of spectators who gathered for a taste.
World’s largest: Pastry chefs unveil a chocolate Easter egg towering over 27ft tall at the Chocolate Festival in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
The major of San Carlos de Bariloche, Omar Goye, was present at the festival, where the Easter egg was to be certified by the Guinness Records as the world’s largest.
Chocolatier Diego Ferraris told Esenciapatagonia.com the Easter egg was assembled using a wooden mold as foundation for the chocolate spread.
Crowds: Hundreds gathered at the City Centre for a taste of the monster concoction
Sweet treat: Spectators fills the square to admire the Easter egg
Chocolate coma: A reported 8,800lbs (4,000kgs) of chocolate was used to create the egg
Pastry chefs, led by master baker Hugo Sosa, attached blocks of chocolate to the frame.
The chocolate egg is said to have beaten the previous record for the world’s largest, built in Belgium, which stood 8.32m (27.3ft) high.
But temperatures in the region meant crowds didn’t have long to admire the egg before it started melting.
Dripping: Pastry chefs began breaking the egg for the crowd as the surface began to melt
Time for a taste: A chef breaks off pieces of the Easter egg for the crowd
Sugar high: Children have a bite of chocolate as chefs hand out heaping tastes to the crowd
Shell: A wood frame was used as foundation for the tons of chocolate used for the giant egg
Chefs used cranes to break off chunks of the chocolate and hand them out to the crowd as the sun beamed down.
The Chocolate Festival has lured chocolatiers and chocolate lovers to the region since 1969 with events, races and other chocolate-themed activities.
The festival this year ran from March 31-April 8.
THERE MUST BE ONE BIGGER OUT THERE SOME WHERE
BUT WHERE WHY NOT TELL ALL ABOUT IT
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If you’d love to see more wildlife in your garden, clever choices for your borders and herb patches can give nature a helping hand.
And by making space for the mini-beasts you can provide for the whole food chain, without shelling out for specialist supplies.
When you leave part of your garden untouched, with good access to other gardens or wild spaces, you are creating safe area for wildlife away from human influences.
An undisturbed pile of logs makes an excellent hideaway for an incredible number of insects which in turn can attract birds and mammals.
But if you prefer a more orderly garden, you can still provide additional food and shelter for all the small things – and some of the big ones too – with a good mix of plants.
There is some debate between experts over whether native plant species are better for our wildlife and a study is currently underway at the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Wisley garden in Surrey to determine which bugs like best.
Helen Bostock is a RHS wildlife gardening specialist who runs the Plants for Bugs project and has researched the most frequently recommended plants to attract the birds, bees, butterflies and more.
Her top ten plants every wildlife gardener should consider for their patch are: sunflowers, foxgloves, thyme, lavender, honeysuckle, rowan, ice plant, firethorn, barberry and purple loosestrife.
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This pancake recipe is fairly kid friendly…well, except for the hot griddle and all. Adults will have to oversee the use of the griddle and give some instruction on pancake flipping.
Using an electric mixer, with adult supervision, mix on low until all ingredients are well mixed. Use a spoon to scrape flour from the side of the bowl.
Spray griddle with cooking spray. Preheat electric griddle to 300 degrees. For a stove top griddle use medium-high heat. (For kids who are just learning to flip pancakes a griddle is recommended over a frying pan.)
Fill a ladle half full with batter and slowly pour on griddle. Repeat, leaving plenty of space between pancakes for easy flipping.
When pancakes are filled with small bubbles, gently slide a spatula under the pancake and flip. Cook for another 30-45 seconds and use spatula to lift off the griddle.
Important! While these “Kids Can Cook” recipes are written with kids in mind, they are not necessarily meant for kids to make without adult help. Kids’ ages and level of cooking knowledge will affect how much help they need in the kitchen. So kids, always ask your parents before cooking anything!
Mothers Day will be upon us soon
How are we going to celebrate this event?
Shall we buy her chocolates and flowers?
Or buy her an expensive bottle of scent
We all take mothers for granted
Expecting she will always be there
She is always a good listener
And all your problems she will share
She sometimes becomes a nurse and a doctor
When you have hurt yourself at play
She will sit you upon her lap
Until the pain goes away
She will do these things all of your life
In sickness and in health
She will never give up on you
For a mother never thinks of her self
A champion to all of the family
At times she will have her say
For a mother is the kingpin of the family
So show your appreciation on this her special day
Mothers Day will be upon us soon
How are we going to celebrate this event?
Why not dedicate a poem to your Mother
SEND YOUR DEDICATIONS OR POEMS
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Turning 50 is a huge milestone. For many people, this signifies a new chapter in their life. Maybe your child is now grown and out of the house. Perhaps you’re noticing some new physical changes to your body. Chances are, you will feel different once you reach this significant birthday. Fortunately, many of those changes can be positive. Turning 50 means that you have a lot of life experience. You know what you like and what you don’t like. Use your wisdom to help you become even more amazing and fit when you’re 50 and older.
Join a gym. When you’re over 50, it becomes more important to ease into new physical activities. Your body simply can’t handle abrupt changes and extreme activities in the way that it used to. Joining a gym is a great way to start a new exercise program because you’ll have access to a network of professionals. Look for a gym that offers a free personal training session and health consultation for new members.
Try a new activity. It’s very common to become stuck in an exercise rut. If you are already in good shape, chances are that you have found a method you like and have stuck with it throughout your adult life. But as your body changes, you should consider changing your routine, too. Trying a new form of exercise is a great way to gently challenge your body and get some amazing health benefits.
Head outdoors. The health benefits that you get from physical exercise are increasingly important as you age. It becomes even more important to keep your heart healthy. Finding a workout routine that you will stick to is half the battle. You need regular activity in order to see the benefits. Research shows that women over 50 who exercise outdoors are more likely to exercise regularly.
Get a workout buddy. There are many benefits to finding a friend to join you during your workouts. Having a partner can help keep you accountable. For example, if you make a plan to exercise with someone, you are less likely to cancel than if you are only disappointing yourself.
Take a walk. Walking is one of the best ways to both get in shape and stay in shape. It is affordable and everyone can do it, no matter where you live. Walking is low impact, but keeps your heart healthy and your muscles limber. This is especially important as you get a little older.
Keep a food journal. Your diet is increasingly important as you get older. As you age, you are increasingly at risk for health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Watching your diet can help lower those risks. When you’re trying to eat right, it is helpful to keep a record of what you are eating. Many of us don’t realize how many empty calories we consume. Try keeping a food journal for a few weeks to get an accurate sense of your eating habits.
Eat whole foods. As you age, your metabolism slows down. It becomes increasingly important to eat the right foods so that you don’t gain weight and can decrease your risk of having health issues. Try to eat a balanced diet that includes mostly foods that are not processed and do not have a lot of preservatives. Whole foods include more nutrients than packaged foods.
Stay hydrated. When you’re getting older, it becomes more important to pay attention to your heart health. Older adults are much more likely to suffer heart-related health problems. Drinking plenty of water is very important for your heart health, as it helps your heart effectively pump the blood through your body.
Use supplements. As you age, your body’s needs change. In order to maintain your health, it becomes increasingly important to make sure that you are getting the required amounts of key nutrients. If you’re not already, consider adding supplements to your daily routine.
Ask your doctor for tips. Your general physician is your best resource for health care tips. Your doctor is familiar with your physical health, and can therefore tailor advice to meet your specific needs. As you get older, it is important that you see your doctor regularly. Even if you feel great, you should get a checkup at least once a year.
Do puzzles. Being amazing and fit means keeping your mind sharp, not just your body. As you age, you might notice yourself becoming a little more forgetful. The older you get, the more important it is to actively work your mind. Doing puzzles is a great way to exercise your brain.
Read more. As you age, your cognitive speed slows down. Research shows that reading more can actually slow the mental aging process. Reading enhances your memory and increases your attention span. So grab a book, newspaper, or magazine and start reading!
Learn something new. The act of learning is a great way to keep your mind sharp as you age. Continuing your education, learning new skills or pursuing a new hobby may help maintain individual brain cells and fortify your memory.
Socialize more. There are great benefits that come with socializing. Not only is it enjoyable, but it is good for your health. People who socialize regularly tend to have lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
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Today, I thought I’d share my current favorite smoothie meal replacement recipe. I always mix up what’s in my almost-daily smoothie, but this one I find particularly good. It isn’t green, but has a lot of good stuff in it, and comes close to tasting like a strawberry milkshake. The calories are on the higher side, as I usually make this one for a meal replacement with a side of Manna Bread. (Don’t know Manna Bread? It is sooo good.) This smoothie for me is great on days when I don’t really have time for lunch but need something to fuel an afternoon workout. If I was making this for a snack instead of a meal replacement, I’d use water instead of milk, and leave out the oats and banana, bringing down the calories substantially.
Add the ingredients to your blender and blend until you have a consistency you like. If you have a traditional blender, you may need to add a bit more milk to get it to blend. Thankfully, my Ninja blends the heck out of this in exactly no time flat.
Preparing Butternut Squash
Right now, butternut, acorn, and pretty much all winter squash is close to free at our Trader Joe’s. A big butternut will set you back $1.59 total, not per pound. So, I buy a couple when I’m in there, roast them, and freeze them in cubes for easy access for just about anything. Here’s what you do:
Worried you have a gluten-intolerance? Already living with coeliac disease? If you’re gluten-free these top tips from Coeliac UK will help make the everyday a little easier…
Coeliac disease is a lifelong, serious autoimmune disease caused by the immune system reacting to gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The only treatment for the condition is a strict gluten-free diet for life.
For those newly diagnosed with the condition, the prospect of a strict gluten-free diet may seem daunting at first; but armed with the right knowledge, the gluten-free diet can be relatively easy to adapt to. Here are Coeliac UK’s top 10 tips for everyday eating…
All packaged food in the UK and the EU is covered by a law on allergen labelling, meaning you can tell whether or not a product is suitable for a gluten-free diet by reading the ingredients list. If a cereal containing gluten has been used as an ingredient in the product, it must be listed in the ingredients list (no matter how little is used).
The specific grain will be listed, so look out for mentions of wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, Kamut® or any other grain which has been made through breeding these together as these all contain gluten. Often, these ingredients will be highlighted in bold.
Pasta, bread and crackers all contain gluten, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy these foods in your diet. Instead, switch to gluten-free alternatives of your favourite foods, which you will find in most supermarkets and health food stores. Gluten-free substitute foods include pasta, bread, crackers, bread rolls, cereals and more. Those medically diagnosed with coeliac disease can receive some gluten-free staple food on prescription from the NHS.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and eggs are naturally gluten-free, so use these as the basis to your meals.
The gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that all grains and cereals are off the menu. Quinoa, teff, amaranth, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet and tapioca are just some of the naturally gluten-free grains which can be included in the diet. Just check the labels to make sure you are using uncontaminated versions. Try swapping traditional breadcrumbs for polenta crumbs, opt for gluten-free buckwheat or rice noodles and pasta and try baking with quinoa for gluten-free alternatives.
Gluten-free alcohol includes cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs, but remember that beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free beers are available in some supermarkets and restaurants, but make sure you only drink those that are labelled in this way.
Being on a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out – check out Coeliac UK’s online venue guide to see where you can eat out gluten-free.
Even a tiny bit of gluten can be enough to cause symptoms for someone with coeliac disease, so make sure you minimise the risk of cross contamination with gluten-containing foods. Do this by washing down kitchen surfaces before use, using separate butters, spreads and jams to minimise the spread of crumbs and invest in some toaster bags to keep your gluten-free bread separate.
Lots of pasta sauces, gravies, stocks and condiments contain wheat flour, and therefore gluten, so ensure you read the label and exclude anything that isn’t suitable. Instead, try making your own pasta sauces and gravies using cornflour, arrowroot or potato starch to thicken them for a gluten-free option.
Finding the right gluten-free substitute for your usual gluten-containing ingredients is a matter of personal taste, so spend time in the kitchen getting used to gluten-free flours and baking aids.
Once diagnosed with coeliac disease, you can start to make positive changes to your diet to improve your health. Join Coeliac UK for support to help you adjust, which includes a Food and Drink Directory listing products to help you get started in the kitchen.
Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, yet only 10 to 15% of those with the condition have received a diagnosis. Coeliac UK is the national charity for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and offers help, advice and support.
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Despite their small size, chia seeds are packed full of important nutrients. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to raise HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol that helps protect against heart attack and stroke).
Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants and full of fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. Remember the chia pets that were a popular item in the 1990s? Yep, those are the same small seeds you used to grow an Afro in your Homer Simpson terracotta vase.
This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of chia seeds and an in-depth look at their possible health benefits, how to incorporate more chia seeds into your diet and any potential health risks of consuming chia seeds.
Nutritional breakdown of chia seeds
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one ounce of chia seeds (approximately 28 grams) contains 138 calories, 8 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.
Eating one ounce of chia seeds per day would provide 18% of daily calcium needs, 27% of phosphorus, 30% of manganese and smaller amounts of potassium, zinc and copper.
When compared to flaxseed, chia seeds provide more omega-3s, calcium, phosphorus and fiber – all essential nutrients that most people are not getting enough of.
Possible health benefits of consuming chia seeds
Consumption of plant-based foods of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality. Maintaining a diet high in plant-based foods has also been shown to support a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
Chia seeds are packed full of important nutrients – they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia and the power of fiber
The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine suggests that men under the age of 50 consume 38 grams per day and women under the age of 50 consume 25 grams per day.
For adults over 50 years age, the recommendation for men is 30 grams per day and for women is 21 grams per day. Most people are not consuming even half of that recommendation in a day.
The easiest way to increase fiber intake is to increase your consumption of plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and unprocessed grains. Just one ounce of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber, almost half the daily recommendation for a woman over 50.
Why is fiber so important?
High fiber diets have been shown to decrease the prevalence in flare-ups of diverticulitis by absorbing water in the colon and making bowel movements easier to pass. Eating a healthful, fruit and vegetable and fiber-filled diet can reduce pressure and inflammation in the colon. Although the cause of diverticular disease is still unknown, it has been repeatedly associated with a low fiber diet.2
Foods that are high in fiber help to keep you feeling full longer and are usually lower in calories. Increased fiber intakes and high fiber diets have been shown to help with weight loss.
Cardiovascular disease and cholesterol
Increased fiber intakes have also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A review of 67 separate controlled trials found that even a modest 10-gram per day increase in fiber intake reduced LDL (the harmful type cholesterol) as well as total cholesterol.
Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may even play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation, consequently decreasing the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
High fiber diets are associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes and eating high fiber meals to keep blood sugar stable. Based on a review of findings from several large studies, The National Institute of Medicine found that diets with 14 grams fiber for every 1,000 calories were associated with significant reductions in the risk of both coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Digestion and detox
A diet with adequate fiber prevents constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Regular bowel movements are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool.
Omega-3s to fight heart disease
Research to date suggests that omega-3s can decrease the risk for thrombosis and arrhythmias, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and sudden cardiac death.
Omega-3s may also decrease LDL, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce atherosclerotic plaque, improve endothelial function, and slightly lower blood pressure. The richest sources of plant-based omega-3s are chia seeds, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hempseeds, hempseed oil and walnuts.
How to incorporate more chia seeds into your diet
Chia seeds are relatively easy to find in any major supermarket and are only slightly smaller than a strawberry seed. They are black in color and have a very mild, nutty flavor.
chia seed parfait
Chia seeds can be eaten raw or cooked and added to yogurt, cereal and smoothies.
You can eat them raw or cooked. Sprinkle chia seeds on cereal, yogurt, oatmeal or smoothies. Add them to baked goods like bread and muffins.
If are experimenting with vegan baking or you just run out of eggs, you can mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, let them sit for a few minutes, and watch them turn into a gel that you can use as a substitute for eggs in baking.
Try some of these healthy and delicious recipes using chia:
Pumpkin spiced steel cut oats
Lemon raspberry zucchini bars
Homemade KIND bars
Spaghetti and lentil meatballs
Banana pumpkin power smoothie
Potential health risks of consuming chia seeds
Chia seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water. This posed a problem for one man with a history of swallowing problems who, doctors say, developed an esophageal obstruction after eating a tablespoon of chia seeds dry and trying to wash them down with a glass of water.
The seeds formed a thick gel in his esophagus that he was unable to swallow down without medical treatment. Although this case was rare, make sure to mix chia seeds into another food or liquid before consuming, especially if you have a history of swallowing problems. Avoid giving chia seeds to small children.
It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.
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less than 30 mins
10 to 30 mins
By Gino D’Acampo
For the roasted mango ‘hedgehog’
½ mango, stone removed
4 tbsp clear honey
½ tsp ground cinnamon
For the sauce
200ml/7fl oz coconut milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp caster sugar
1.Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2.For the roasted mango, score the mango flesh in a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife and gently press out from the skin-side until it resembles a hedgehog. Place the mango hedgehog onto a baking sheet, drizzle over half the honey and then bake for five minutes, or until slightly caramelised on top. Remove from the oven, drizzle with the rest of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.
3.For the sauce, place the coconut milk, cinnamon and sugar into a saucepan and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened.
4.To serve, pour the sauce over the mango hedgehog.
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We all love eating chocolate and now there’s even more reason for it to put a smile on our face.
Increasing evidence suggests that our once guilty pleasure can actually have health benefits, which is just as well, considering the average Brit scoffs a whopping 196g – the equivalent of six Cadbury’s Flakes – every week.
One theory why we love chocolate so much is that a brain-active chemical called phenylethylamine in cocoa allegedly stimulates the same reaction that we experience when we’re falling in love.
Another is that we crave it in an unconscious bid to top up magnesium – a mineral that helps bolster against stress – but the evidence is thin on the ground.
“There’s actually little evidence that chocolate is truly addictive in any physical sense,” says registered dietician Elphee Medici.
“It’s more likely the uniquely seductive combination of aroma, sweetness and texture, and the fact we associate it with pleasure and reward that makes us love it so much.”
In other words, it tastes great and can do us some good too, as long as you choose the right types and don’t go too mad (most health experts recommend that we stick to about 30g of chocolate a day, or six small squares).
In celebration of National Chocolate Week (8-14 October), here are 10 reasons to tuck in:
Flavanols found in cocoa beans aid production of nitric oxide, which stimulates blood vessels to dilate.
One analysis of 850 mainly healthy participants found that flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products had a small but statistically significant effect in lowering blood pressure in the short term.
Processing can lower flavonol content, so for best effect try a traditional cocoa drink made with “non-alkalised” beans (£3.50 for 125g from )
A nice mug of cocoa might also help an ageing brain, a recent study in the journal Hypertension found. Elderly participants who received high flavonol chocolate drinks had improved mental performance after eight weeks.
“This is a myth”, says Elphee.
“No one food that can cause acne, though there is some evidence that an unhealthy diet in general – high in refined carbohydrates, low in fruit and vegetables – may be a factor.”
Interestingly, both dark and milk chocolate have a relatively low glycaemic index, having a more favourable effect on blood sugar and insulin – and, potentially, your skin – than other sweet foods like sugary drinks or marshmallows.
Chocolate is high in saturated fat, but the particular type – stearic acid – predominant in cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol like other saturates.
Research at Cambridge University found that people consuming the most chocolate had a 37% lower risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke than those who consumed less chocolate.
However, this “high” intake only amounted to 63g a week, and study author Dr Oscar Franco, urges: “Chocolate may be beneficial, but it should be eaten in a moderate way, not in large quantities and not in binges.”
Who doesn’t love a sprinkling of cinnamon on fresh apple pie or atop a chai latte? It’s just one of those spices that tastes fantastic. But taste is not the only reason to love cinnamon. Here are 10 health reasons to love this super spice:
1. Numerous studies show that cinnamon regulates blood sugar, making it a great choice for diabetics and hypoglycemics alike. That’s also great news for anyone who wants stable energy levels and moods.
2. It reduces LDL cholesterol levels. LDL is also known as the harmful cholesterol. Reducing it may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. It has natural anti-infectious compounds. In some studies, cinnamon has been effective against ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens. However, there have been mixed results in other studies, so more research is needed.
4. It may reduce pain linked to arthritis. Cinnamon has been shown in studies at the Department of Internal Medicine, Kangnam Korean Hospital, to reduce cytokines linked to arthritic pain.
5. Research at the University of Texas, published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, shows that cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells, holding promise for cancer prevention and sufferers of the disease.
6. It is a natural food preservative.
7. It contains fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese—albeit small amounts to the typical dose of ground cinnamon.
8. It’s been proven effective for menstrual pain and infertility. Cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which studies show increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones.
9. Cinnamon holds promise for various neurodegenerative diseases, including: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, and meningitis, according to research at the Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas. Their research shows that cinnamon reduces chronic inflammation linked with these neurological disorders.
10. Not a health benefit, but a great reason to love cinnamon, it’s versatile. It works with sweet and savory dishes alike. Consider that many curries and savory Moroccan dishes include cinnamon. It’s not just for apples anymore.
Why are they selling poppies, Mummy? Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love. For the men who marched away.
But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy? Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died in the fields where the poppies grow.
But why are the poppies so red, Mummy? Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child. The blood that our soldiers shed.
The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy. Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief. For the men who never came back.
But why, Mummy are you crying so? Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child. For the world is forgetting again.
Some folks’ll boast about their family trees,
And there’s some trees they ought to lop;
But our family tree, believe me, goes right back,
You can see monkeys sitting on top!
To give you some idea of our family tree,
And don’t think I’m boastin’ nor braggin’,
My great, great, great, great, great, great, great Uncle George,
Wor the Saint George who slaughtered the Dragon.
Aye, he wor a blacksmith, not one of the sort
Who shoe horses and sing anvil chorusses,
He used to shoe Dinasauss – big woolly Elephants,
Thumping great Brontosauruses.
Well, one day while he shod a Brontosauruses,
A feller ran into the forge,
He wor shivering with fright and his face pale and white,
And when he got his breath he said ‘George –
‘Eh, I’ve just seen a dragon, a whopping great dragon,’
And uncle said ‘Seen what? A dragon!
Thou’d best see a doctor, you’ve got ’em owld lad,
Eh, I thought you were on water wagon!’
But the fellow said, ‘Nay, ’twere a big fiery dragon,
‘Twere belchin’ out fire as it run!’
And Uncle George said ‘I could do with a dragon
With coal now at two quid a ton.’
And the feller said ‘Eh, but what’s more
I’ve just heard that the old Baron up at the Castle
Says, him as kills Dragon can marry his daughter,
She’s lovely and she’s worth a parcel.’
Then fellow goes off and old Uncle George thinks,
Of the brass and the bride in old satin,
So he brings out his pup and a pair of his ferrets,
And says to ’em ‘We’re going ratting.’
The ferrets they cocked up their noses with joy,
And the old Bull pup’s tail kept a-waggin’,
Then Uncle George shoves ’em a’side rabbit hole,
And says to ’em ‘Go on, fetch Dragon.’
Then suddenly he smells a sulphery smell,
Then he sees a big gigantic lizzard,
With smoke coming out of its eyes and its ear’oles,
And flames coming out of its gizzard.
And was George afraid? Yes, he was and he run,
And he hid there in one of the ditches,
While the Dragon, the pig, ate his ferrets and pup,
Aye, best of his prize-winning er – she dogs.
Then George said ‘Gad zooks! I’ll split thee to the wizzen,
By Gum, but he were in a fury,
And he runs to a junk shop, and buys a spear,
And he pinches a Drayhorse from Brew’ry.
Then he sallies forth with a teatray on chest,
On his head he’d a big copper kettle,
With a couple of flat irons to throw at the Dragon,
Owd George were a real man of mettle!
At last he meets Dragon beside of the pump,
Dragon sees him and breathes fire and slaughter,
But George he were ready and in Dragon’s mouth,
He just throws a big pail of water!
The Dragon’s breath sizzled he’d put out the fire,
Our family are all clever fellows!
Then so as that owd Dragon can’t blow up more fire,
With his big spear he punctures his bellows.
Then finding he’d killed it, he out with his knife,
He had gumption beside other merits –
And he cuts open Dragon, and under it’s vest,
Safe and sound are the pup and the ferrets.
That night the Old Baron gave Uncle his bride,
When he saw her he fainted with horror,
She’d a face like a kite, worse than that the old Baron
Said ‘George, you’ll be Saint George tomorrow.’
‘Course, as St George t’were no drinking nor smoking,
They barred him horse racing as well,
And poor old St George, when he looked at his Bride,
Used to wish that old Dragon to… Blazes!
And he got so fed up with this being a Saint,
And the Princess he’d won always naggin’,
That he bunked off one day and he opened a pub,
And he called it the ‘George and the Dragon.
And he did a fine trade, eh, for years and for years.
People all came from near and from far there
Just to see Uncle George and the Dragon which he had had,
Stuffed and hung up in the bar there.
T’were a thousand feet long and three hundred feet ‘wide,
But one day while a big crowd observed it,
It fell off the nail, and squashed Uncle George,
And the blinking old liar deserved it.
Copyright; Weston & Lee
I’m not a big fan of “dieting” — a word that conjures up images of hunger and chewing on celery or doing some kind of fad diet — but I do believe in trying to eat a healthier diet.
Don’t diet, but do stick to a healthy diet, in other words.
But that’s easier said than done, as we all know. The healthy diet goes out the window around the holidays, for example, or when there’s a family party or a function at work full of unhealthy food, or when we go out to eat with friends, or when we go to a ballgame or amusement park or the beach, or when … well, you get the idea. There are lots of ways to get off a diet.
And there are just as many ways to stick to your healthy diet.
I’m not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, and I often will give in to temptations. But I’ve gotten better over time, partially because practice makes perfect and partly because I’ve learned a lot of great tips, from my fellow bloggers and from you, my favorite readers in the world.
So today we’re going to look at a few of the tips and tricks that I’ve found useful in sticking with a healthy diet.
1. Know your motivation. I have a friend, Jerry, who is getting healthy so that he’ll be alive and well to see his 3-year-old son grow up. When he gets tempted by evil junk food, he asks himself whether he’d rather eat the sweets or see his son grow up. When you have a powerful motivation like this, and remember what choice you’re making whenever you face temptation, it’s easier to be strong when you’d otherwise cave in.
2. Take it in gradual steps. You don’t have to overhaul your diet overnight. I highly recommend changing your diet in small steps — just drink water instead of soda, for example, or eat fruit instead of candy or chips. Once you adjust to this small change, make another a week or two later, and so on until you’re eating much healthier a few months later. This small and gradual process makes it much easier to stick with a healthy diet.
3. Don’t be drastic. I’ve seen fad diets like the Cookie Diet, Atkins, the Banana Diet, and different cleansing fasts — and I don’t recommend a single one of them. They’re drastic, and very few people can last with them for a long time. And the fact is, while you might lose a lot of weight with a drastic diet in a short amount of time, as soon as you get off the diet and go back to eating unhealthily, you’ll gain the wait back. Don’t do anything drastic — make long-lasting changes.
4. Choose foods you love. This is incredibly important. If you hate eating salads, don’t make salads a key to your new diet. I happen to love salads, but everyone has different tastes. Don’t eat foods just because they’re good for you — eat them because they’re healthy AND you love them. For me, that means berries and almonds and oatmeal and salads and yogurt and cottage cheese and tofu, but for others it might be salmon and lean grass-fed beef and asparagus and walnuts. Find the foods you love that are healthy, and you’ll stick with the diet much longer.
5. Pack food. Always bring healthy food with you, wherever you go. Sometimes this just means packing snacks if you’re going on a few errands (I like almonds and fruit), other times you might want to pack more substantial meals and pack them with ice to keep them fresh. Packing your lunch to work is a great idea, along with a bunch of snacks to keep you satisfied all day without eating the donuts someone brought in.
6. Eat before you go. If you’re going out to a restaurant or party, eat a small healthy meal first. That way you won’t be starving and won’t need to eat a huge amount of unhealthy food. You can get by on a salad or some fish and steamed veggies or an appetizer or something like that, and still enjoy the company of your friends and loved ones.
7. Don’t get hungry. When you allow yourself to starve, you will often binge, because your blood-sugar levels are so low that you crave instant sugar (or refined flour). When you’re starving, you are more likely to indulge in donuts or cake. So eat snacks throughout the day, or small meals, so that you never get super hungry.
8. Choose healthy when you eat out. If you go to a restaurant or party, look for the healthy choices. I love a good salad bar, but you could also choose a lean cut of meat, grilled not fried, with steamed veggies, or some black bean or lentil soup, or something like that.
9. Indulge in little bits. I don’t believe in going extreme and not allowing myself to eat treats such as … mmm, chocolate cake. But the key is to eat healthy most of the time, and when you do indulge in a treat, do it in small amounts. Two or three bites of cake or ice cream, for example, won’t kill your diet but will satisfy your sweet craving. Eating a whole tub of ice cream? Not recommended.
10. Eat small portions when you go out. If you go to a party with lots of food, try for small portions. Just eat until you’re slightly full, then have some water and talk with people without eating for awhile, then when you get hungry have another small portion, and so on. Try for the amount of food that will fit in your hand. If you space out several small portions over the course of a couple hours, you’ll feel satisfied but never take in too much.
11. Have tasty substitutes for your weaknesses. When I feel like eating something sweet, I’ll often have berries or fruit. My sister Kat likes to mix berries with almond butter, chocolate protein powder, and water — a weird but satisfying treat. Whatever your weaknesses, find a substitute that will satisfy your cravings when they inevitably come up.
12. Clear your home of unhealthy snacks and foods. If you have junk food in your home, you’re more likely to give in at some point and eat it. But if you clear your home of these foods, you won’t have that temptation. Clear your fridge and cabinets of candy, baked sweets, fried foods, foods made with refined flour, fatty and greasy things like chips and fries, and so on.
13. Bring your own healthy food to a party. If it’s allowed, bring a dish to a party you’re planning on attending, and make it a healthy one. I like to bring a couple of my favorites: Leo’s chili, and my Best Soup Ever.
14. Fill yourself up with water, fruits, veggies, and lean protein at a party. Lots of parties will have at least a couple of healthy options — some fruits or veggies, maybe some lean protein that’s not fried. I will fill myself up on these, even if they’re not entirely a meal, and then eat a healthy meal later.
15. Don’t stuff yourself. Make this your ultimate rule. Even if you break down and get fatty, fried food at a restaurant or party, just don’t eat until you’re stuffed. Try the Okinawan rule of eating until you’re 80% full. This way you can eat the unhealthy stuff and still limit the damage.
16. Don’t starve yourself. This might sound like the “don’t get hungry” tip above, but it’s bigger than that — don’t eat so little that you’re starving. For most women, that means don’t go below 1,200 calories a day — for men, it’s 1,500. But even those are too low for many of us. You only want to cut a moderate amount of calories from your diet — if you starve yourself, you’ll lose muscle, you’ll get unhealthy and you’ll end up falling off the diet eventually.
17. If you indulge, burn it off. Sometimes all of the strategies above will fail. That’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up about it — just get back on the wagon, back on track. Look at it as a small bump in the road. And better yet, get outside and burn off the calories by running, walking briskly, playing sports, whatever it takes. Then start eating healthy again.
Posted in All about manners, Healthy eating | Tagged allaboutmanners allaboutmanners animals aviation books breakfast cars children climate c allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners, fad diet, food, healthy food, unhealthy food | 2 Comments »
Mackenzie put a whoopie cushion
on the teacher’s chair.
Makayla told the teacher
that a bug was in her hair.
Alyssa brought an apple
with a purple gummy worm
and gave it to the teacher
just to see if she would squirm.
Elijah left a piece of plastic
dog doo on the floor,
and Vincent put some plastic vomit
in the teacher’s drawer.
Amanda put a goldfish
in the teacher’s drinking glass.
These April Fool’s Day pranks
are ones that you could use in class.
Before you go and try them, though,
there’s something I should mention:
The teacher wasn’t fooling
when she put us in detention.
Posted in KIDS, Poetry, PROMOTE YOURSELF | Tagged allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners animals aviation books breakfast cars children climate cooking dessert FAMILY food frog gaming Gillian S allaboutmanners, teacher | 10 Comments »
Posted in Easter, KIDS, Poetry, PROMOTE YOURSELF, Thomas Sims | Tagged allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners animals aviation books breakfast cars children climate cooking dessert F allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners allaboutmanners, easter | 3 Comments »
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