Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

Hi Folks!

We all at the Daily Tiffin wish our wonderful readers a Happy Halloween!

You'll find a few great pumkin carving ideas here and a fun Halloween facts quiz here. You'll also find a few fantastic and rather spooky party food ideas here.

I am now off to prepare for our little Halloween party tonight when witches, ghosts, devils and other creatures take over the streets.

Have fun!

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

A Whole New Lunch Look Without Meat

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Posted by Glenna

Standing on the plateau of my same weight for the last several months has not made me a happy camper. But who knew that picking up a new popular diet book would not only make me change my eating style, it would cure the plateau blues, and give me more energy than I've had in all those months.

I know that not everyone looks at their lunch in terms of their diet, or latest diet as the case may be, like I do: day in and day out for...oh...the last twenty-five years but then again, there are some of you out there just like me. It seems like every time I get on a diet bandwagon, i.e., Atkins, South Beach, Sonoma, etc., it always works for a little while, a little while until I get tired of eating meat,w hich for me doesn't take but a few bites.

In a way, I've started yet another so-called diet, but in another way I've allowed myself to be free. Free from meat. I did read a new diet book called "Skinny Bitch" by Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman that advocates a vegan diet lifestyle although I don't remember them actually yelling the word vegan over and over. What they did was talk very confrontationally, quite frankly, about how if you put crap into your body you will look like crap. Simplistic but true in a simplistic way. Maybe that's why it motivated me. Maybe I need to face the fact that at heart I'm simple. Okay, I admit, I also responded to the cursing and other colorful language. Maybe that was it. It spoke my language.

Whatever the mechanism, I have found myself mostly free of meat for the last several weeks and I'm liking it. I enjoy my meals more, I'm not constantly feeling guilty for not getting enough protein which seems to be the ultimate sin these days, and I feel better, not worse! I love vegetables. I love fruit. I love pasta and rice and quinoa and whole wheat bread. I love oatmeal and granola. I'm in a little corner of heaven these days.

Let's talk about lunch. For me, working nightshift, my so called lunch hour is at 2:00am. That's a time when I need to eat something to get me through the second half of a twelve hour shift but it's the middle of the night, folks. I don't want to eat something heavy and then go home and try to sleep during the day. It's hard enough to sleep when I'm not bogged down, gassy, and heartburnish!

Lacto-not-so-ovo-vegetarian has been working really well for me. This is one of my favorite lunches so far: cucumber sandwiches on white whole wheat bread, a few cashews and almonds, snappy sugar peas, a kiddie carton of soy milk, and two over-stuffed Oreos so I don't forget the white bread middle of America girl that I am at heart.

To make the cucumber sandwiches, I spread one piece of bread with light cream cheese and spinkle on my favorite all purpose seasoning called Cavenders, specifically a Greek seasoning. I spread Plugra European-style butter on the other slice of bread and then stack slices and slices of cucumber cut as paper thin as I can get them. Quick and easy to put together and well-appreciated in the middle of the night when my co-workers are foundering on fried this and baked-to-death that from the crapateria.

And yes, I do notice the dichotomy of the light cream cheese on the same sandwich with the high fat butter. It's....just one of those things. Don't think about it. Just eat it and enjoy.

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Glenna from A Fridge Full of Food...and nothing to eat.

Gifts from the Heart

Monday, October 29, 2007

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff


The beginning of fall symbolizes the start of the holiday season for many of us, which means a serious spurt in gift-giving. While gifts represent love and affection for both the gift-giver and the gift-getter, gift-giving also has the potential of becoming a highly stressful activity. What do you give the person who has everything (or three of everything)? What do you give someone who is already sick and tired of living in a home that are cluttered with useless "stuff"?

What about the fact that popular toys are being recalled by the dozens, making gift-giving to children even more difficult?

Especially when the child prefers to set aside the toy and play with the box! Clutter-free does not mean "cheap" in any sense of the word; it means a gift that is a little off-beat that might surprise and delight your loved ones without giving them more "stuff" to fill their homes with. Here are some ideas for clutter-free gifts, unconventional offering of love that come straight from the heart- with ideas for
both children and adults.

1. "Experience" gifts: These are truly clutter-free gifts, where all that the lucky recipient is left with is wonderful memories. You can indulge someone with tickets to a musical, a rock concert, a sports game or even air-tickets to some exotic location (or just to come see you!). How about a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, like a hot air balloon ride or a day spent bungee-jumping? Or a certificate for a dinner cooked by a personal chef? Children might enjoy tickets to the premier of a children's movie, or to an amusement park.

2. Learning something new: This is a category where the experience will leave the recipient richer. The sky is the limit: you can buy someone salsa dancing lessons, gourmet cooking classes, or sessions with a personal trainer. An alternative to buying lessons is to share your talents and give the lessons yourself. My talented
friend Cathy recently did a wonderful Fashion
for her niece's birthday- giving her a certificate for a dress-making lesson.

3. Spreading the love: A very meaningful gift for the person who has it all is an opportunity to share their abundance with others. One could make a donation in their name to a local or international charity that has special meaning for them- maybe to a cancer foundation, or a children's education fund, or a pet rescue organization; it could be anything that is aligned with the person's beliefs and interests. The same goes for children. An animal-loving kid may love to "adopt" an eagle or seal or pygmy elephant from the World Wildlife Fund. Another idea: giving the child a gift card to buy toys for donation to toy drives in the holiday season.

4. Memberships and subscriptions: This is a gift that will keep on giving- all through the year. Membership subscriptions to local art museums, botanical gardens etc. can be cherished by the whole family. A subscription to a high-quality magazine can be a real treat. Just remember to do the research to make sure that the magazine fits the recipient's interests. Kids might enjoy a membership to a local child-friendly destination such as a science center or children's museum. Or, subscriptions to children's magazines- kids are thrilled to recieve mail of their own, and will get interesting reading material every month. Kahani is one example of a beautiful South Asian literary magazine for children.

5. Consumables and Edibles: Once the gifts are enjoyed and used up, there is no clutter to get rid of. Consumables include pretty soaps and other bath and body products. The edibles can be homemade or store-bought- spice mixes, chocolate, special teas and flavored coffees, jams or sweet treats, to name just a few popular treats, and can be organized into a theme gift basket for a bigger surprise. One
example of a gorgeous gift in this category: Zlamushka's gift
for her sister, including a home-made spice mix collection and a hand-sewn apron.

6. Handmade gifts: Handmade gifts are a class apart- they are cherished and adored like few other gifts are. From the traditional hand-knitted scarves and sweaters to personalized photo calendars and customized music CDs, everyone is capable of making some kind of hand-made gifts. Use your talents to draw a portrait, embroider a skirt or make a memory book with pictures of the special times in the recipient's life. One of the best gifts I have received lately: customized aprons designed by my parents; they are too pretty to wear in the kitchen. If you really think you can't make a gift or don't have the time to do it, consider buying a handmade gift on websites such as Etsy or in local craft fairs and small artist-owned boutiques, rather than buying a mass-produced gift.

7. Gift cards: This is the perennially popular clutter-free gift, and for good reason! It is a delicious feeling to go shopping with a gift card and be able to get something you really need or want. Virtually every store, whether it is a brick-and-mortar establishment or a virtual retailer, allows you to purchase gift cards, so there is something for everyone. Kids might enjoy coupons to a bookstore or
local ice cream store, gift cards, or an iTunes card. Older relatives might appreciate a phone card that allows them to keep in touch with distant family members.

What is the most memorable gift you have ever received? Given?

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This post was contributed by Nupur from One Hot Stove

Tiffin Tuesday - more breakfast boxes

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Posted by jokergirl@wererabbits

Wholemeal tortellini with pesto and a huge basil leaf, carrot sticks and hummus to dip, pieces of a mooncake, a frozen strawberry and blueberries, banana chunks with chocolate sauce. I forgot to put my last minimuffin in... must've been tired.

It's been a stressy few weeks. I barely manage to get proper food at all, let alone healthy food. Bringing a bento, even if it is just with a little breakfast and/or snacks for the day, makes me feel less hungry and be more comfortable during the day, and provides important vitamines to deal with the stress! I try to balance with small meals that can be snacked on and don't need to be eaten all at once, that taste good at room temperature and keep well. And bring a lot of fruit and veggies to keep me away from the chocolate and cookies!

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by jokergirl from Were Rabbits.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Monday, October 22, 2007

Posted by Amanda at Little Foodies

We love lemon drizzle cake in this house and as it's the holidays I just made some heart shaped ones to eat over the next few days. That's if I can get them to last that long. Click read more if you'd like the recipe.

Lemon Drizzle Cake
175g/6oz butter (room temperature)
175g/6oz caster sugar
3 medium size eggs (room temperature)
200g/7oz self raising flour
juice and zested rind of one lemon
2 tablespoons of milk

Pre-heat the oven to 175C
Cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and beat until it starts to come together, sieve the flour into the bowl and beat again until smooth. Add the lemon juice and rind and beat. Add the milk and beat again again until smooth.
Pour into two cake tins (7 inch) or alternatively I have made 12 normal size cupcakes and 24 tiny cupcakes with this amount of cake mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes. 12-15 minutes if you're making cupcakes.

While the cakes are in the oven make the lemon drizzle icing.

1 and a half cups of icing sugar
juice and rind of one lemon
Sieve the icing sugar into a clean bowl, add the zested lemon rind and then gradually add the lemon juice, mixing as you go. You may not need all of it.

Take the cakes out of the oven and let them stand for about 5 minutes, then drizzle the lemon icing over the top. Let them cool, then remove from the tins.

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Amanda from Little Foodies

spooky time

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Posted by Abby

It’s coming up to the spooky time of year – Halloween! Traditionally this isn’t a big festive celebration in the UK but it’s one of my favourites so I thought I’d share some ideas for Halloween food and drink in case you’re thinking of celebrating. Most of these ideas are focused on kids but I’m sure the big kid in all of us will be happy enough too!

Skeleton fingers - use sliced white bread and take the crusts off. Lightly butter it and then spread it with crushed crisps (any flavour will do but you could go for something like beef so they taste meaty). Roll the bread up and secure with a cocktail stick. Eat quickly as they won’t stay crunchy for long.

Witches fingers
– you can make sweet or savoury versions of this. The sweet version uses finger-shaped piped biscuits which, when they are cooked, are dipped in jam at one end. dab the top of the biscuit at the other end with more jam and press on a flaked almond so the jam oozes out and looks like blood. For savoury, cook some sausages. Tear the end of each and dip this in a little ketchup so it looks like the blood from a chopped off finger. At the other end, press in a flaked almond so it looks like a fingernail. Alternatively you can use asparagus spears.

Eyeballs – use a packet of white marshmallows. Using food colouring, paint the top with green/blue circles. Let this dry then use black food colouring to paint in the iris. You could add thin red lines around the edge to look like blood vessels.

Spooky cookies
- get some Halloween shaped biscuit cutters and bake up a batch of various shapes – witches, cats, tombstones, spiders. Pumpkins etc. using the writing icing that you get decorate one of each then invite younger guests to make their own. however, if you do the tombstones, i think it’s decorate these yourselves - ice then in white then use black icing to pipe on the rip and the name of each guest. You can present these as people arrive!

Bats wings - marinade and roast some chicken wings and serve them on a platter labelled appropriately!

Witches fingernails – label up a bowl and fill it with the roasted seeds from your pumpkin - scoop out the seeds, wash them well and then roast them with salt, oil, chilli and garlic.

Not So Lucky Dip
- finally, and you’ll not want to eat this creation, fill a bowl with chopped up jelly. Add some cold cooked spaghetti (intestines), lychees or grapes (eyeballs) and mini sausages (fingers) and some plastic spiders which can be exchanged for prizes. Cover with two folded cloths, leaving a gap in the middle where people can insert their hands then and invite your guests to see what they can find…

What other ideas are out there?

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This post was written by Abby from eat the right stuff

Tiffin Tuesday - a red breakfast

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Posted by jokergirl@wererabbits

I brought bento not as lunch, but as Breakfast for today. The theme was "red" since I was planning to give blood.

Big box: Tiny rye bread sandwiches spread with baba ghanoush and carrots, corn "flowers", grape tomatoes and pear slices.
Small box: Mini banana muffins - just like normal muffins, but bitesize! When I was trying out my new food processor last weekend I thriftily made a batch of smaller muffins in fastfood restaurant condiment containers for bento.
The rest of the box is filled with chocolate covered coffee beans, more pear, grapes and a frozen strawberry.

The BF has been experimenting with the blender ever since we bought the food processor and is pampering me with fresh fruit smoothies. Wow! I call that service! Mmm, icy delicious orange and strawberry smoothie for breakfast before going to work, and bento when my stomach is able to take solid food at work!

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by jokergirl from Were Rabbits

Kids with a conscience for our planet

Monday, October 15, 2007

Posted by Amanda at Little Foodies

Without taking away that wonderful optimism and naivety, or making life thoroughly boring for our children we can still teach them to have a conscience about our planet. Recycling is a great place to start and there are many ways in which you can do this everyday.

In the UK we have a great resource in the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle website.

Reduce the amount of the Earth's resources that we use.
Reuse don't just bin it, could someone else make use of it?
Recycle Can the materials be made into something new?

You can find all sorts of information which doesn't just relate to the UK. Some great links can be found on the following page which is part of the site. Fun Green Sites for Kids

Here are a few ways that you can do your bit to help.

5 Small ways you can involve your children to reduce the amount of the Earth's resources that we use, include:

1.Turning lights off when you leave a room.
2.Don't throw out old toys - Give them away to charity. (A winning situation all round!)
3.Do you know somebody that could make use of those outgrown clothes that have only been worn a few times?
4.Turn the tap off while brushing teeth.
5.Turn a piece of paper over and use the other side instead of getting a fresh piece.

5 small things you can do with your children to re-use everyday household items for arts and crafts materials. For example:

1.Washing up liquid bottles make great rockets or turrets for castles.
2.Shoe boxes can be decorated to make, among other things, great keepsake boxes.
3.Kitchen Roll Holders can be decorated and then worn on arms, they're known as power bands in our house, because it's full of boys, girls would probably prefer to call them pretty bangles and decorate them in an entirely different way.
4.Yogurt pots can be decorated and used as mini plant pots. Good for cress heads, instead of using eggs.
5.Cereal boxes, cut the top off, decorate, then use as storage boxes.

5 Small things you can recycle so that materials can be made into something new, include:

1.Jam Jars
2.Plastic Milk Cartons
3.Old paper that can't be used for drawing or painting
4.Cereal packets
5.Old birthday, Christmas or other celebration cards

It's really important and so easy for our children to learn to have a conscience about our planet. I don't need to bore you with the details of why.

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Amanda from Little Foodies

Superfoods: Barley Grass, Wheat Grass and Other Green Foods

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Posted by Meeta K. Wolff

Plant Power in Small Packages
When we talk about "green foods," we’re referring to a group of foods that includes young cereal grasses like barley grass and wheat grass, as well a blue-green algae known as BGA. Nutritionally, they are close cousins to dark green leafy vegetables, but offer far greater levels of "nutrient density." In other words, an ounce of these concentrated green foods contains much more of the beneficial phytonutrients found in an ounce of green vegetables.

The results of many experimental studies show that green foods have marked beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, immune response and cancer prevention. These effects are attributed in part to their high concentrations of chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll, the phytochemical that gives leaves, plants and algae their green hues, is the plant equivalent of the oxygen-carrying red pigment hemoglobin in red blood cells. Dietary chlorophyll inhibits disease bacteria and exerts therapeutic effects on bad breath and internal odors.

Wheat and Barley Grasses

Young cereal grasses—especially wheat and barley grass—are distinguished by their brilliant emerald green hues. Before World War II, drug stores throughout the country, but especially in the grain-belt states of the Midwest, sold tablets of dried wheat or barley grass as a kind of primitive vitamin supplement. Today, young wheat and barley grasses are dried and powdered to make dietary supplements, or picked fresh to process in juicing machines.

At the early grass stage of their growth, wheat and barley are closer to vegetables than grains in composition. This is important to note because while I strongly discourage eating wheat and wheat products, I believe wheat grass is an excellent addition to your diet.

The nutrient profiles of green cereal plants change quickly as they grow. As the plant grows, the chlorophyll, protein, and vitamin content of cereal grasses declines sharply and the level of cellulose (indigestible fiber) increases. Over a period of several months, the green leafy cereal grasses become amber waves of grain bearing the kernels we harvest to make into flour—an unhealthy, pro-inflammatory food.

There is very little nutritional difference between wheat grass and barley grass, although it is important to note that barley grass acts as a free radical scavenger that also reduces inflammation and pain, and wheat grass contains P4D1, a "gluco-protein" that acts like an antioxidant, reducing inflammation. It is also thought to be able to help the body attack cancer cells.

You can get cereal grasses in powder or tablet form. Dried cereal grasses are certainly easier to handle than fresh, which must be juiced. However, fresh grass juice contains healthful enzymes not found in dried grass powder, and is likely to be higher in just about every phytonutrient found in cereal grass. Many juice bars and health-oriented markets offer these juices on their menus.

Blue-Green Algae (BGA): Spirulina, Chlorella and more

The single-celled plants known as blue-green algae (BGA) are sold in health food stores as superior sources of protein, chlorophyll, carotenoid antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and disease-preventive phytonutrients. There are several types of BGAs, the most popular being spirulina and chlorella.

The existing research, while lacking in many regards, suggests that BGAs exert some significant and perhaps unique preventive-health effects, most likely due to their polysaccharides, antioxidants, nucleic acids, and peptides. Preliminary evidence suggests that they have the following benefits:

Spirulina inhibits the infectious power of many viruses—including HIV, flu, mumps, enterovirus, measles, and herpes—probably because a sulfated polysaccharide called calcium spirulan prevents viruses from entering human cells.

Chlorella helps prevent cancer and the growth of tumors, probably because its glycoproteins enhance the migration of T cells to tumor sites

Chlorella binds to toxic heavy metals and dioxin and helps eliminate them from the body.

Chlorella protects the intestinal lining against peptic ulcers

Both Spirulina and Chlorella:

Help diminish allergies such as hay fever

Help protect the liver from toxins

Reduce blood pressure and cholesterol

Help control symptoms of ulcerative colitis

Exert strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects

BGAs are rich in essential fatty acids, phenolic antioxidants, chlorophyll, B vitamins, carotenoids and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. BGAs—especially spirulina—are also good sources of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid with many healthful properties, which some people’s bodies have trouble producing, and which is lacking in the standard American diet.

(Source: Dr. Perricone’s Superfoods)

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was contributed by Pintoo from Zaayka

Tarako spaghetti lunches

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Posted by Biggie @ Lunch in a Box

Pre-packing some or all of the next day's lunch is a practical way of speeding up daily lunch packing and making hectic mornings more manageable. Here I pre-packed leftover pasta the night before and stored it in the refrigerator overnight, briefly warming it in the microwave the next morning to restore the texture of the pasta.

Tarako spaghetti lunch

Contents of my lunch: Tarako spaghetti with onions, red bell peppers and kaiware (daikon sprouts). The top tier holds a section of corn on the cob, plum tomatoes, broccoli with red wine vinaigrette, black Mission fig, and grapes. Tarako is salted cod roe, but I often use jarred Greek tarama for this dish instead.

Morning prep time: 7 minutes, using leftover pasta and corn. I pre-packed the pasta when cleaning up from dinner. In the morning I briefly microwaved the pasta to restore texture, garnished with fresh kaiware, steamed the broccoli in my microwave mini steamer (speeding up cooking time by 50%), and arranged food in the the top tier.

Packing: I used tongs to twist the spaghetti into two large loose nests, making the pasta tier a little nicer looking. Nothing in the top tier was particularly wet, so I didn't use food dividers (edible or otherwise). Packed in a 580ml two-tier Urara Dragonfly box.

Tarako spaghetti lunch for toddlerCooking: Here’s a tarako spaghetti recipe with good notes. I start by sauteing an onion and bell pepper if I have some on hand for color contrast. When I lived in Osaka, I often had it with a little Kewpie mayonnaise stirred into it. Other variations omit the cream in favor of sauteing in butter and tossing in mirin/tarako/mayo (that's what I did here). However you vary it, it’s bound to be good — just get the sauce loose enough to lightly coat the noodles.

Preschooler lunch: Contents are the same as mine. For packing, I used kitchen scissors to cut up the spaghetti into smaller bits (right in the box) that are easier for little hands to manage. Packed in a 270ml one-tier Thomas the Tank Engine box with one hard plastic sub-container removed to fit more pasta, and a 150ml Anpanman side dish container for the fruit. After taking the photo I tucked in a little Anpanman pick for the fruit. Verdict: 5 stars. Bug ate all of this at preschool, nothing left over. Success!

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Biggie from Lunch in a Box: Building a Better Bento.

Boost your Brainpower

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Posted by Abby

I’ve just returned to London after 2 weeks holiday in Italy and despite having only been back at work for 4 days I’m already struggling. My concentration is minimal and my ability to focus on the task at hand seems to have gone AWOL.

Urgent action is needed and I’ve been researching ways to boost my brainpower. I thought I’d share my top 5 with you in case the increasingly wintry days are getting to you too. These tips are also good for kids who’re struggling now the excitement of the new school term has worn off.

1. Eat breakfast
Studies consistently show that having breakfast helps boost our concentration, mental arithmetic and logic skills as well as stabilising our moods. In contrast, an empty tummy can make us feel grumpy and tired.

2. Boost your intake of omega 3 and 6
These fats have a protective and curative role in brain health. Omega 3 fats are found in oily fish and vegetable oils, particularly those made from rapeseed, flax and walnuts. Omega 6 fats are found in most vegetable oils. So, how about a slice of toasted seedy bread topped with peanut butter for breakfast? A big salad with goat’s cheese and toasted walnuts for lunch? Kedgeree for supper?

3. Keep hydrated
Dehydration affects our ability to concentrate. Waiting until you are thirsty means you are already dehydrated so sip water regularly throughout the day.

4. Boost your fruit and vegetable intake
Recently, the media has been full of contradictory stories about whether or not the use of vitamin supplements can boost children’s academic achievements. Avoid the controversy by taking the natural route and make sure you are eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables.

Good brain boosters include:
- blueberries - their rich antioxidant content has been shown to improve coordination, concentration and short-term memory in elderly rats (not that I’m jumping to conclusions about Daily Tiffin readers but I think it’s as good an excuse as any to eat this fabulous fruit!)
- broccoli – this is one of five fruit and vegetables that have been found to contain substances that act in the same way as drugs used to treat degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Potatoes, oranges, apples and radishes are the other four in case you’re interested.
- iron rich food such as eggs, green leafy vegetables and red meat – these will ensure that you don’t experience the drop in energy and concentration associated with low iron levels

5. Get moving
Studies of school children show that those who exercise regularly perform better in exams and tests of mental agility. And if, like me, you’re looking for the low-energy option here, pick up some balls! German scientists found that juggling balls for 60 seconds a day can boost brainpower significantly.

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This post was written by Abby from eat the right stuff.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Posted by Glenna

One of my New Year's Goals this year was to lose weight and get healthier. Yes, WE ALL have that one, don't we? Hmmmm...maybe I should get cracking on that one...it's OCTOBER now...

To be fair to myself, I have made inroads on this goal. I'm not skinny and I don't eat perfectly every day but I have acquired some great habits. Okay, maybe "forced" is a better verb than "acquired". Because of my job I walk up to eight miles a day in the hospital. That alone has increased my HDL (good) cholesterol by several points and lowered my overall cholesterol score.

I've also been eating better. Not perfectly every day but much better. One of the big habits I changed for myself this year was eating too many meals in our cafeteria. You would think a hospital would have a cafeteria full of healthy food but aside from a nice salad bar the healthy pickings are slim. The vegetable lasagna never wins out against the burgers, fries, hot dogs, and other comfort quick foods so I made a commitment to pack my lunch and have seen lower scale numbers for it. I also like to pat myself on the back for the days I get all seven of my recommended vegetable servings in. Perhaps this isn't as big of a deal to others as it is to me but my husband is a real meat and potatoes fanatic. He's one of those folks who thinks a vegetable is just there to fill in the white space on the plate. You know how it is. There's only me and him, no kids, so most of the time when I cook it's easy to cook for him and skip the veggies I love. But my lunchbox is all about ME, ME, ME. I load it down with vegetables. They're my favorite thing to eat.

Tonight's (I work overnights now) lunch is a mixed field green salad with balsamic vinaigrette, fat free yogurt, and celery spears filled with vegetable seasoned cream cheese and sunflower seeds. The salad is a pre-mix of greens from the grocery along with one sliced white mushroom, the dressing is a two parts balsamic vinegar to one part olive oil mix seasoned with a tiny bit of salt and heavily with pepper. That's it. Simplicity is best when it comes to wonderful salad greens. The yogurt is, obviously, store bought. And the cream cheese filling for the celery stalks is a quick and simple combination of one green onion, a quarter each of a red and green pepper, and baby carrot, whizzed up in the mini-food processor and mixed with an eight-ounce block of light cream cheese. After filling the stalks with the cheese mixture, I then turned them over and dipped them in sunflower seeds scattered on a plate. I almost can't wait to go to work tonight!

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Glenna from A Fridge Full Of Food