Friday, April 9, 2010

Animals and Alzheimers

On Thursday, I had the chance to interview Dr. David Dosa, author of the book, "Making Rounds with Oscar-The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat." Although I'm not really a "cat lover", I had read excerpts of the book in both Guideposts and Readers Digest and knew that I wanted to learn more about Oscar. In case you aren't familiar with the story-Oscar is a cat that resides at a nursing home in Rhode Island and he has the uncanny ability to know when one of the residents is near death. He will climb up on their bed, or the window sill and hold his vigil until they have passed on. The book is touching and inspiring. Over 5 million Americans are afflicted with this some form of dementia and the book also addresses the many issues of caring for a loved one with this disease. It will introduce some topics that may be difficult, but that need to be discussed.

It is so important to eat a good breakfast! If you are "crunched" for time in the morning, try one of the following:
Morning Monte Cristo- Top a low fat whole grain waffle with 3 slices of honey baked deli ham and 1 oz. reduced fat Swiss cheese. Place in toaster oven toast until cheese melts. Remove from oven and drizzle with 1 tsp. light pancake syrup; top with 2nd toasted waffle.
Banana'wich-Spread 1 tsp. peanut butter on hot dog bun. Add 1 small banana, sliced, and drizzle with 1/2 tsp. honey.
Eggs-in-a-wrap-Spread 1 oz. goat cheese on 100-calorie whole wheat wrap. Add 1 egg, scrambled, and 1 c. baby spinach leaves; fold wrap.

Happy Birthday to my daughter Sarah-
~the start of a whole new decade to explore and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Attitude and Asparagus

One of my favorite quotes is :

"The way choose to see the world, creates the world we see"

It's all about attitude. If I surround myself with negative thinking and negative energy, that's how I will view everything. It's easy to get down, depressed and feeling sorry for myself. If I choose to be optimistic, look on the bright side and decide to make lemons from lemonade-my day will go much better, my outlook will improve and everything will run more smoothly. I'll be able to adjust to the bumps in the road.

I have not been keeping up with my blog, of late. I plan to change my attitude and to make time to share my thoughts and the interesting things I learn and share with my listeners.

Fresh fruits and vegetables! There's nothing better (well, maybe chocolate, but that's another story!) This is the time of year for sugar snap peas, spinach, mushrooms and asparagus...

My Dad, who is a very "particular" food connoisseur-loves asparagus. I served it at Easter dinner and was suprised that he would even try it. He shared the story of how as a young boy, he and his father would pick the vegetable as it grew along the side of the road. Food can be very powerful in invoking memories and emotions. I'm sure my Dad remembers those great times with his father whenever he tastes the great flavor of this wonderful spring vegetable.

If you haven't tried it lately here are a few tips:
Wash well to remove sand and grit. Trim by snapping the bottoms. Take several spears at a time and bend them an inch or so from the bottom until the woody, dry sections naturally break off.

Choose your cooking method:
Steamed: Pour 1" water into a 12" skillet with a tight fitting lid. Insert a collapsible steamer basket. Bring water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the trimmed asparagus, cover and steam until fork tender (about 4-6 minutes, depending on thickness).

Roasted: Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss trimmed asparagus with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. of both salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 8-10 minutes-depending on thickness.

Grilled: Heat outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. IN large bowl, toss trimmed asparagus with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. each salt & pepper. Place spears flat across grill top in opposite direction of grill grate. Grill 3 minutes. Using tongs, rotate spears and cook until tender, about
2-3 minutes longer.