Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pizza Grilled Cheese

This recipe is great for kids of all ages! Who doesn’t love a new twist on old favorite?

1 tsp margarine
2 tsp pizza sauce
2 tbsp low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
Your favorite pizza toppings (four thin pepperoni slices, 1 sliced mushroom, 1/4 green pepper)
Lightly spread margarine on one side of each slice of bread.

Place one slice margarine side down in a frying pan over medium heat.
Add pizza sauce, shredded cheese and all your favourite toppings, and cover with the second slice of bread, margarine side up.
Flip and lightly brown.
Once cheese is melted, remove from heat, slice in half and enjoy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Top Five Best Things About Summer

To follow up my Negative Nancy post about the things I hate most the summer, I’m bringing you my top five favorite things about this season.

***Flips Flops – who doesn’t love the fact that when the weather’s warm you can slide on a pair of cheap flip flops with a cute dress and you’re ready to go. No painful high heels or stuffy boots, just open freedom of the feet.

***Longer Days – I’m definitely one of those people that experiences the symptoms of Season Affective Disorder (SAD). As the days get colder and darker, so does my mood. That is why I love the long summer days when the sun stays out longer and lifts my mood!

***Barbecues – this season is a great time to get a big group of friends and family together for a cookout. Grab some hot dogs, burgers, bun and beer and you’ve got a great party in the making

***Beach time – I love the ocean and although I live four hours away from the closest beach I always make it a point to make at least two road trips every summer to beaches in Charleston, Hilton Head, St. Simon, etc. You just can’t beat the beach experience.

***Flowers – Take a walk around your neighborhood and enjoy all of the fresh greenery and flowers in bloom. The air even smells different during the summer because of all the delicious flowers.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues

Is this summer just flying by or is it just me? It’s already the middle of June! It’s Tuesday and I’m a little crabby so I’ve decided to compile a list of things related to summer and that agitate me. I don’t mean to be Negative Nancy but I’ve got to get this off my chest:

***Trying to drive after my car sits in the sun all day at work. How am I supposed to navigate the wheel when I can’t even touch it?

***My shirt being permanently stuck to my back. Now that’s hot I tell you.

***People (myself included) constantly saying, “Wow, it’s hot today.” Duh, it’s summer.

***The number of magazines with headlines touting, “Look great in that bikini!” or “Lose ten pounds in ten days for summer.”

***The fact that children are not in school yet I still have to go to work.

So there’s my top five things I hate about summer. That being said, this is my favorite time of year. I’ll follow up with my top five favorite things about the season later this week!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ohh, Those Silly Brits

I thought the following blog post was rather amusing and since it relates to margarine, I thought it was appropriate to post:

Britain's Queen Elizabeth has been accused of endorsing unhealthy food.
The Food Commission has said the monarch's use of the Royal Arms on sugar, chocolate, margarine and fizzy drinks packaging is "inappropriate".

Food magazine, published by the commission, says the queen should not be contradicting the government's message of healthy eating. It read: "Royal patronage can be a valuable marketing tool for those companies which are lucky enough to get it.

"Although foods and drinks with poor nutritional profiles are an inevitable part of our everyday diet, it is questionable whether the queen should be granting her warrant, and the status associated with royalty, to such products.

"This is especially relevant when her own government is actively seeking to reduce consumption of such foods." But a Buckingham Palace spokesman said Royal Warrants were awarded to companies and not individual products.

He said: "Royal Warrants are a mark of recognition that a trade organisation has supplied the Royal household to its satisfaction. It doesn't necessarily mean that that particular product [bearing the coat of arms] has been used by the queen."

My response: Ironic that the British government should try to censor royalty since it was the Emperor Napoleon that offered a prize for anyone who could develop a substitute for butter. Enter Frenchman, Hippolyte Mège-Mouriez, who in 1830 who captured the prize with a creation made from natural vegetable oils. Because it had a rich pearl-like consistency, he named it after the Greek word for pearl, margarites. It came to be known as margarine. Today's healthful soft margarines -- less than 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, no cholesterol and a great source of polyunsaturates and Vitamin are nothing like the margarine of 1830. But butter is still butter -- 7 grams of saturated fat and 30 milligrams of cholesterol. Makes you wonder, 'What was the British Food Commission thinking?'

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Eat This, Not That" Makes Whack Attack on Margarine

If you haven’t read it, you need to check out one of my favorite new books on the market, Eat This, Not That. The basic premise of the book shows what foods to avoid while dining at popular fast food places and chain restaurants as well some very low-calorie healthy, options that just might surprise you.

The book not only teaches people how to be on the lookout for meals that sounds healthy but pack hidden calories, but also reinforces that notion that it is possible to eat healthy no matter where you are just by making the correct choices.

However, I have a bone to pick with the author, David Zinczenko. On the Men’s Health Web site, he lists 14 “Health foods that aren’t!” Chicken Caesar salads, turkey burgers and granola bars all make his list of foods that people trying to lose weight should avoid. Margarine is also number 14 and he states:

“In their haste to remove saturated fat from butter, margarine makers created a monster—a soft, spreadable sludge loaded with trans-fats, a dangerous lipid with more concerning links to heart disease than saturated fat. Stick with the real stuff, but pick up whipped butter from brands like Land O’ Lakes instead; by whipping air into the butter, manufacturers decrease the caloric density of a tablespoon of butter, plus it makes for easier spreading.”

Apparently Mr. Zinczenko is completely unaware of the fact that you won’t find any soft or liquid margarine that contain trans fat, and trans fat levels of stick margarines have been greatly reduced. Using new technologies, margarine manufacturers have met the challenge and eliminated or reduced trans fat in margarine products, making a good product even better. In fact, the margarine industry has led the food industry in removing trans fat content from its products. Soft, liquid and spray margarine products are now in sync with the recommendations included in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid food guidance system. Soft margarine products were elevated in their importance in that they “help meet essential fatty acid needs and also contribute toward Vitamin E needs” according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.

Okay I’m going to get off my high horse right now. I’ve said my piece and now it’s time for a much needed nap. All this margarine misinformation is making me tired!