Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Wonders of Apple Cider Vinegar

Did you know that vinegar has been made and used by people for thousands of years? There have been traces of vinegar found in Egyptian Urns from around 3200 BC and recently still sealed clay urns of Vinegar were found in the south china sea area that may well be 5000 years old. If so, vinegar has been around for a remarkable long time.
And did you know that the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar can be traced back to Biblical times and before? The Greek Hippocrates is known to have treated his patients with Apple Cider Vinegar (Or ACV). The Greeks and the Romans kept apple cider vinegar around for its healing and flavoring uses and Japanese Samurai Warriors were known to drink it for strength and power.
Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar made from cider or apple must and has a pale to medium amber color.  During the fermentation process, sugar in the apple cider is broken down by bacteria and yeast into alcohol and then into vinegar. Like many types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar contains a substance called acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar also contains some lactic, citric and malic acids.

In todays world more and more people are discovering the benefits of apple cider vinegar. Enthusiasts claim that apple cider vinegar can help with the following health conditions:
  • acne
  • allergies
  • arthritis
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • diabetes
  • flu
  • gout
  • heartburn
  • high cholesterol
  • sore throat
  • lower blood sugar
  • Blood pressure
  • weight loss

Other Uses Of Apple Cider Vinegar

To Cure Athlete's Feet
Soak a cotton ball in Apple Cider Vinegar and apply it to your feet. Usually 2-3 applications will cure it up.
To Cure Acne
Mix 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a 8 oz. glass of water three times a day.
Same as the cure for Acne.
Colds or Coughs
Mix 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey to taste to a 8 oz. Glass of Water 3 times a day. When you have a cold your body becomes unbalanced. The Apple Cider Vinegar helps to rebalance the acid level in your body.
Fatigue and Loss of Energy
Try the same recipe as for Colds and Coughs above. You will find after a few days that you will have more energy.
Sore Throat
Try using a gargle made of 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a 8 oz. glass of water. You will find that it produces amazing results.
To Lower Blood Sugar
Take 2 teapsoons of Apple Cider Vinegar before each meal and you will find your blood sugar average readings may drop by as much as 1/3. Remember to carefully monitor your blood sugar readings. 
Losing Weight 
Mix 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey in a 8 oz. glass of water. Drink one before each meal and you will find your appetite will not be as great.

Remember this information is given for information purposes only. Before you use Apple Cider Vinegar as a natural health remedy you should check with your medical professional and tell him or her what you are planning to do.

Side Effects and Safety Concerns

Undiluted apple cider vinegar, in liquid or pill form, may damage the esophagus and other parts of the digestive tract. Apple cider vinegar drinks may damage tooth enamel if sipped.
One case report linked excessive apple cider vinegar consumption with low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia) and low bone mineral density. People with osteoporosis, low potassium levels, and those taking potassium-lowering medications should use caution.
People with allergies to apples should avoid apple cider vinegar.
Vinegar applied to the skin may cause burns and scarring.
Excessive doses of apple cider vinegar have been found to cause damage to the stomach, duodenum, and liver in animals.

Possible Drug Interactions

Theoretically, prolonged use of apple cider vinegar could lead to lower potassium levels, which could increase the risk of toxicity of cardiac glycoside drugs such as Lanoxin (digoxin), insulin, laxatives, and diuretics such as Lasix (furosemide).
Because apple cider vinegar may affect blood glucose and insulin levels, it could theoretically have an additive effect if combined with diabetes medications. Apple cider vinegar may also lower blood pressure, so it may have an additive effect if combined with high blood pressure medications.

 “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekend Eats: Garlic Buttered (Fried) Chicken

It's been a while since I posted something on my blog, I've been busy these past few weeks being a MOM. Just as I thought I could relax and breathe because it's summer vacation..... I was wrong! I was a lot busier now that my kids are at home 24/7, but I love what I do, I love being a full time mom.

This time I would like to share with you my own version of Garlic Buttered Fried Chicken. My son loves this dish, who wouldn't love that crunchy, sweet and buttery chicken? I was going to try Jive Bar's recipe of Buttered Chicken, but I decided to make my own.



1 kilo chicken, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
6 tbsp. cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying

  • Put the chicken in a large bowl, add the salt, pepper and garlic. 
  • Then, add the cornstarch and egg. mix well until the chicken pieces are all coated.
  • Fry the chicken pieces until cooked. set aside.

garlic butter sauce:

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stick butter or star margarine
1 tbsp sugar (you can add more if you want it sweeter)
juice of 1 pc. calamansi

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter in a very low fire.
  • Then add garlic, saute for a few minutes but make sure not to brown it. 
  • add the sugar and calamansi juice, mix well until the sugar is fully dissolved. turn off stove.
  • Put the chicken pieces one by one in the saucepan, coat it with the garlic butter sauce. arrange on a plate and enjoy!

I did not coat the chicken with the usual flour and egg, the reason is that I still want to taste the chicken. The problem with the flour and egg coating is that you taste more of the coating (because it is too thick) and not the chicken itself. 

Everytime I make this, my kids would start eating it even before I'm done coating all of the chicken pieces. They love it with or without rice and they would always say SARAP! Which always makes me feel ecstatic because my children are hard to please just like their dad. I also shared this recipe with my good friend Gina Bautista and she told me that her family loved it too! I am happy whenever I hear good feedbacks from my family and friends.

You too can try the recipe this weekend, turn that boring fried chicken into something new and interesting!

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook -- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!"
- Julia Child

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

An apple a day keeps the doctor away is a very true statement. A lot of people have no idea what an apple can do for them. Recent research says that eating apples can prevent prostrate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer. Compared to other fruits apples contain a relatively small amount of Vitamin C but are rich in antioxidants.
The fiber content in apples helps to prevent stomach problems and colon cancer. It is also believed that apples are great for weight loss, heart disease and controlling cholesterol so I guess the age old saying is true.
You really should wash your apples well with cold running water and eat the peelings of the apples also because they are really good for you. Recent studies say that the fiber in apples and apple peelings really can help to prevent various forms of stomach cancer including colon cancer.
People who eat apples greatly reduce their risk of heart disease and diabetes. And the more apples a day that you can eat the better off the health of your heart will be. And the more stable that your blood sugar levels will be.
Believe it or not but apples also help to increase your endurance levels and if you eat a diet heavy in apples and apple sauce you will find that you will be able to breathe much better and your lungs will be much healthier.
For children who have asthma drinking apple juice on a daily basis can really help the children to have far fewer problems with their asthma. Another interesting study says that mothers who eat apples on a regular basis will have far fewer children who have asthma problems.
There are substances in apples that strengthen the bones in humans. If women eat apples on a regular basis they will have far fewer problems with osteoporosis and eating apples on a daily basis may even strengthen bone density. 
There is a substance in apples called quercetin that may help to prevent Alzheimer's from developing. If so then this in its self is a miracle.
All women should know that by eating an apple a day they can reduce their chance of getting breast cancer. And some researchers say that you should eat three apples a day to prevent cancer of any type. Researchers say that apples are really great at preventing colon cancer.
One of the best recent health claims for apples is that by eating apples and apple sauce you can prevent dementia and people with early onset dementia can slow down the onset of dementia.
Galacturonic acid in apples lowers the bodies need for insulin and helps to maintain a well balanced blood sugar level.If you eat apple sauce with cinnamon sprinkled on it will also help to lower blood sugar levels and help to maintain a well balanced blood sugar level.
People who eat at least three apples a day are far more likely to be successful with weight loss than people who don't eat apples. Apples fill you up and prevent you from feeling hungry.
I bet you didn't know that apples could do all that did you? Well, I didn't too. LOL. I hope you learned something from this post, if you have tips or suggestions, feel free to post them. 

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."
 -- Martin Luther

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to Cope with Infidelity

Cheating is something that is not only cowardly and dishonest, but it is utterly disrespectful to the sanctity of a union that is supposed to be based upon trust. With that said, it still happens...it happens everyday, unfortunately.

If you suspect your husband is having an affair, your first reaction may be to react with anger or threats.  A lot of women out there have dealt with a cheating partner and have their own coping strategies. Here are some approaches you can take to getting your world back in control when you suspect your partner of cheating. 

Get the Facts

Try not to act impulsively, before you accuse your husband of infidelity, get the facts. God gave a woman intuition, not just for the mother in her, but also for the spouse, only you know the signs.
Get proof before doing something rash, like packing up the kids and leaving:  As long as there is no harm being done to you physically or verbally,  wait before you leave so you can have your evidence. . . .you will know the truth and won't have to wonder if you made a mistake.

Confront Your Husband

Confront your husbands before doing anything drastic. Talk to your hubby and let him know that you think he is cheating. . . . Explain to him the reasons why you think he is (no matter how small or stupid you think the reasons are) and let him tell his story or explain why he is doing what he is doing. Even if the confrontation confirms your worst fears.

Get Relationship Counseling 

Finding out your spouse is cheating on you emotionally or physically (or both) can be extremely overwhelming. Get professional help, you and your spouse can sort out if you want to keep the marriage or not and see what's really left in your relationship. 

Give an Ultimatum and Be Ready to Move On

If your husband continues an affair despite all your efforts to remedy the situation, it's time for an ultimatum. You can’t mend your relationship with a third party wedged in the middle. You need to make sure there is no contact between the woman and him ever again. If you think they are fooling around, that’s when you pack up and don’t let him explain and you leave while you still have your self respect.
It is important that you find peace in God.
Allow support from family and friends
While no one can take the pain away, support and love can help you through this difficult time. Don't hold the pain inside.
This is one of the most difficult of all human behaviors. Forgiveness means you are done with the negative emotion that is harming your life.

Relationships can heal from the horrible heartache of an affair. I'm not saying it is easy, I'm not saying it doesn't require an enormous amount of work and energy, and I'm not saying it is going to happen overnight. I am saying that it is possible.
But, as any couple who has faced this serious challenge, they will tell you that it takes a lot of effort and time and a tremendous amount of courage and commitment. But the important thing is, you will find peace and happiness again.

“There are all kinds of ways for a relationship to be tested, even broken, some, irrevocably; it’s the endings we’re unprepared for.” 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Earth Hour 2012

We only have one planet.  You can help protect it. Participate in the world’s largest single campaign for the planet: Earth Hour. It starts by turning off your lights for an hour at 8:30 pm on March 31, 2012 in a collective display of commitment to a better future for the planet.  Think what can be achieved when we all come together for a common cause.

This Earth Hour we are all dared to save the planet. "I Will If You Will" is a simple promise and a challenge. Dare anyone (your Facebook friends, co-workers, celebrity crushes) to accept your challenge and help protect the Earth or accept the challenge of someone else.

This Earth Hour all of us should go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference. Together our actions add up. 

What are you willing to do to save the planet?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Warning Signs of Vision Problems in Kids

Have you noticed your child squinting or sitting closer and closer to the television? A vision problem may be the reason. Eye problem is really very hard to detect especially in the cases of children. My daughter who is only 8 years old has been wearing glasses for 8 months now. And I thought nothing is wrong with her eyes until she told us that she had difficulty reading the flash cards that her teacher used during their Math class. So we consulted a doctor and we were shocked because her eye grade is 250 on both eye. Well it is such a pain to see her wearing eye glasses at a very early age but I was so relieved the she got used to it already and her vision is improving. 

To help catch a vision problem early, be on the lookout for any of these eight signs that your child may need glasses:

1. Squinting 

Squinting is a common sign of a vision problem because doing so can help bring blurry objects into focus.
2. Covering One Eye or Tilting Head
If a child has diplopia, or double vision, she may begin covering one eye or tilting her head to make the double images go away.
3. Sitting Close to the Television
Many moms find that a child's television habits can reveal the need for glasses.  
4. Difficulty at School
Difficulty seeing the chalkboard is another reason to visit the doctor. Similarly, if your normally all-star student starts inexplicably having trouble with schoolwork, a vision problem may be the culprit. 
5. Frequent Headaches
Watch your child for headaches, If you notice this, take him/her to the eye doctor. Headaches can be another sign of a vision problem.
6. Rubbing Eyes
The eye fatigue or strain from a vision problem can also cause a child to frequently rub their eyes
7. Trouble with Reading 
If your child mixes up small words when reading, he/she may need glasses for farsightedness
8. Holding Reading Material Close to Face
Holding reading material closer than normal is another sign of a vision problem. You will notice that your child is working with  their noses up against the paper when studying.

Some vision problems have no warning signs and can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated. This is why regular eye exams are the best way to ensure healthy vision for you and your family.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekend Eats: Four Cheese Lasagna

I've cooked Lasagna a dozen times before, but it was just last December that I finally perfected it. It's a well known fact that my hubby and my kids loves pasta and cheese, so just imagine how happy their tummies are whenever I cook Lasagna for them.

Everytime I try to cook something, I always always make it a point that I search for recipes. I look for it on food magazines, food blogs or just simply search the internet. I would usually pick 3-4 recipes and combine them all together so I could have everything that I want summed up in one yummy recipe. This recipe is a product of that, so I hope you would try it.

Four Cheese Lasagna

For the red sauce:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 can of crushed tomatoes
2 cans spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup of water
2 tablespoons  brown sugar
1 teaspoons dried Basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

  • Brown the ground beef, onions and garlic in a pot until they start to cook. It takes about 6 to 9 minutes to brown the meat.I use a medium low temperature to brown the meat.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce  and water. stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the red sauce ingredients, then cover and simmer in low heat for 30- 45 minutes.

Bechamel Sauce:
5 cups whole milk
¾ stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour salt, to taste
ground white pepper, to taste
pinch of ground nutmeg

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it becomes frothy. Don't let it turn brown, it will affect the flavor.
  • With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the melted butter a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated into the butter, giving you a pale-yellow-colored paste. This paste is called a roux. Heat the roux for another minute or so to cook off the taste of raw flour.
  • Using a wire whisk, slowly add the milk to the roux, whisking vigorously to make sure it's free of lumps.
  • The resulting sauce should be smooth and velvety. If it's too thick, whisk in a bit more milk until it's just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat. Season the sauce very lightly with salt and white pepper. Be particularly careful with the white pepper — and the nutmeg, if you're using it. A little bit goes a long way! Keep the b├ęchamel covered until you're ready to use it.
    Assembling the lasagna:
1 box lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1 small container cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
  • Ladle enough red sauce to cover the bottom of a 3-qt ovenproof baking dish.
  • Arrange a layer of noodles atop the sauce, then add another layer of red sauce. Drizzle roughly one-third of the b├ęchamel sauce evenly atop the red sauce.
  • Spread 1/3 of shredded mozarella, cheddar, parmesan and cottage cheese
  • Repeat the previous step two more times until you have three layers in place.
  • On top would be the remaining mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan and cottage cheese.
  • Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese on top has browned slightly.
  • Remove lasagna from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cheese really stars in this lasagna, it can be prepared ahead of time and baked later. I sometimes make up a couple batches and freeze them. I just take it out from the freezer and pop it in the oven whenever the fam bam gets hungry.

I have tried many different Lasagna recipes over the years. This is the culmination of all the trial and error, a recipe that needs to be shared with the world.

Have a Happy and Blessed Weekend Everyone!