Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bread Machines: Homemade Bread without the Work

With the mention of homemade bread, most people may visualize hours of work; mixing, kneading, waiting and baking.  However, in this day in age, making homemade bread can be quite easy.  The trick is simple; use a bread machine.  There are many different types of bread machines and I cannot speak for all of them.  However, a bread machine will allow you to spend no more than ten minutes in preparation and the machine does the rest.  Preparation includes measuring the ingredients, putting the ingredients in a pot, entering settings, and pushing start.

Benefits of Homemade Bread:
  1. Economical: Make a loaf of whole wheat sandwich bread for 44 cents in materials as apposed to $3-4 a loaf at the grocery store.
  2. Health Benefits: You decide what to put in your bread and you know exactly what is in it.  Plus there are no preservatives.
  3. Quality of Life: There's nothing like waking up to the aroma of freshly baked bread.  Enjoy the superior taste of homemade bread while investing minimal time and energy.
Bread Machine Uses:
  1. White or Whole Wheat Bread
  2. Sandwich Bread
  3. Pizza Dough
  4. Roles or Croissants
  5. French Bread
  6. the list goes on...
So if you would like to get a bread machine, be sure to shop around to find the bread maker with the features that work best for you.  My favorite feature on my machine is the timer, which allows me to specify when I want the bread to be ready.  Also, since not every machine is created equal, be sure also to read the reviews.  Though I have only used one type of bread machine, I am sold on the invention and sure that you will be too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Low-Carb Diet Brain Drain

Most of us probably don’t realize that our dieting activities can negatively effect how our brain works and can in turn get one into trouble with friends, family and colleagues.  A low carb diet may have this effect since low carb diets tend to reduce one's glucose levels well below the level of glucose that is needed for the brain to function normally.  This lack of glucose going to the brain often results in a feeling of lethargy.

If you have never experienced lethargy, imagine being in a state in which you feel no desire, care about nothing, and have difficulty focusing on any one thing.  When in a lethargic state, people will talk to you but you will be uninterested in everything being said and will have trouble thinking of a response.  In fact, you may not even care to respond since you probably won’t be following what they are talking about.  In addition to lethargy, you may experience extreme irritability. 

Most low carb diets include a period of time up front, in which you are expected to spend up to two weeks eating less than one serving of carbohydrates each day.  Since nutritionists recommend an average of eight servings of carbohydrates each day as a minimum for normal body and brain function, you can imagine how badly this first two weeks can affect your state of mind.  Once the sense of lethargy sets in, you may be on slow mode in everything you do.

In addition to lethargy and irritability, some of the other common side effects of a low carb diet are diarrhea, bad breath, and muscle weakness, which will make you prone to sprains and injury.  So, though a low carb diet may seem like a good idea, you may want to reconsider.  However, if you end up picking up a copy of one of these diets, I advise talking to a nutritionist before you start so you will know how to diet in a healthy manner and without injuring your body, mind, or relationships.

You may also be interested in:

Diet and Weight-loss: How to eliminate Cravings  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Frozen Fruit Dessert

The Best type of desert to eat when dieting is frozen fruit.  This may sound simple, but once you try it, you will agree that it is like eating ice cream or sherbet.  Plus most diets will allow for a certain amount of sugar, and what best to eat than the natural type of sugar found in fruit.

The best fruits to use are bananas and strawberries.  For bananas, get a piece of foil, slice the banana and then place the banana rounds on the foil.  The foil can be placed in a container or put directly into the freezer.  The bananas will stick once they start to freeze.  If you are not dieting, it is nice to drop chocolate syrup on each banana for an extra sweet treat. Freezing bananas in this manner is also an excellent way of preserving bananas that are about to be too ripe.

For strawberries, rinse and slice just as you did with the bananas.  If they are store bought and not straight from the field or your garden, they may be a little tart.  Wait until they are completely frozen before eating.  The strawberries are also good when frozen with chocolate syrup on top.  Whether you choose bananas or strawberries, I am sure that you will be pleasantly surprised at how good it is.

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