Archive for November 2011

Lose the Belly Fat: 3 Workouts that fight the fat from Thanksgiving

Lose the Belly Fat: 3 Workouts that fight the fat from Thanksgiving
Belly fat is tricky to eliminate.  In truth, there isn’t a series of exercises that target belly fat specifically.  But there are workouts and exercises that I believe lean out the mid section as by-product (so-to-speak) of the way the workout itself affects the body.    Overall key is to incorporate exercises in a high intensity... Read more »

3 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

 3 Healthy Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers
I think most people go home with the same 3-4 dishes every year after Thanksgiving.  The truth is that by Saturday you get a little tired of eating leftovers, yet you struggle with throwing them out because they are so good.  Then you also have to contemplate that they are filled with so many calories. ... Read more »

Sweet Potato vs White Potato: Making it Healthier

Sweet Potato vs White Potato: Making it Healthier
Many people, including myself, hold the sweet potato in higher health esteem than the white potato. I thought that the sweet potato was much healthier than the white potato as far as nutritional content and glycemic index (the effect the food has on blood glucose) goes, but upon closer inspection there are few differences...
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Hard Abs: Advanced Core Exercises on a Pulley Strap

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Whenever you train your core, other muscle groups get dragged into the exercise.  I love the options that pulley training provides because it rarely  isolates one muscle group.  Pulley exercises often train the entire body. Most regular exercisers are familiar with TRX straps.  In which case, you know that you can get a total body... Read more »

Chicago FOOD FILM Festival: 10 Things That Made it a Great Night

The Second Annual Chicago Food Film Festival began yesterday at Kendall College (900 N. North Branch).  Their tagline is appropriate - Watch it & Eat it.  Last night was themed Farm to Film to Table.  I was excited by the invitation I received from Concentrated TV's Mark Cwiakala (also the Festival's co-Producer along with David Singer http://concentrated.tv/).  But the event ended being far more than I expected.  It didn’t have the feel of a film festival.  It wasn’t a cerebral energy.  No one was posturing about being an artist or discussing the hidden meaning behind the director’s imagery.  It was a party that showed short films on food.  The people in the films were all interesting characters.  While watching, Kendall College staff came out in swarms serving the items featured in the short films.  It was in fact a ‘multi-sensory’ festival.   Here are my 10 best things that made the night awesome.
  1. The Ojibwe Wild Rice (my favorite)- perfectly healthy, the texture was wonderful and the flavor was clean.
  2. The Beefeater Gin- Cucumber and Dill Drink – gin, white cranberry juice, dill, cucumber and lemon.  The most refreshing mixed drink I have had in along time.  Despite the cranberry juice, it was not sweet at all.
  3. The film- Buttermilk: It Can Help.  Earl Cruze was a delight to watch.
  4. Fannie May’s new – Artisan Fine Chocolates by Norman Love.  I want the gift box for Christmas everyone.
  5. Frontier Grill’s entire spread- pig roast, mac and cheese, hush puppies.  The Mac and Cheese was moved into my top 5 mac and cheeses.
  6. Hoosier Mama Pie Company’s Persimmon Pie.  First time I’ve ever had this.  Odd at first, but it left really nice bold flavors behind, like clover.  I only wish I had a coffee to drink with it.
  7. The interactive aspects of the entire festival.  Of course, the food and drinks facilitated this, but the energy put forth my the host George Motz and Concentrated TV staff made it the right amount of party atmosphere, mixed with fabulous food and drinks.
  8. Cruze Diary Farm Buttermilk Ice Cream – They had an array of flavors.  But the one that popped out was sweet potato.  It was perfect timing, he got my taste buds all prepped for this Thursday’s feast.
  9. Fresh Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost  - This was one of the non-alcoholic beverages offered during the event.  They featured three flavors of really fresh ginger ale.   Although I am not a person who drinks fruit flavored drinks at all, the Pomegranate had the right amount of sweetness with the warm ginger flavor.
  10.   Pleasant Farms Bakery served their bacon pie.  It was a perfect little bite.  I particularly loved the mixture of the bacon pie with the pickled tomatoes.  It wasn’t quite as intrusive as the flavor of other pickled vegetables like kimchi, but it surprised me that the homemade bacon mixed so well with the fresh green tomatoes...

My Homemade Chinese Food: Beef & Broccoli in a Brown Sauce

My Homemade Chinese Food: Beef & Broccoli in a Brown Sauce
I used to think that Chinese food was healthy.  When I was younger I would order it all the time.  I figured because it had so many vegetables I was eating well.  But it wasn’t until I started going to Flat Top Grill that I realized the amount of calories and fat in the various... Read more »
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Do you have varicose veins? I do, and it's covered by my insurance.

Do you have varicose veins? I do, and it's covered by my insurance.
Without starting this blog out reviewing high school biology, I just need to say that the veins in your body return blood back to the heart. This seems like a fairly important job. Of course there are different types of viens, but I want to get to my varicose veins and why there is medical cause to have them repaired.  I have included a great video on the anatomy of the veins in which you want to learn a little more (click here to see it). What I find facinsating about veins, is how the body handles re-routing blood without major consequences to the heart when the vein’s valves stop functioning.  Are you wondering why I would even ponder this question?  I have alot of collasped valves in my legs.  Here is how I found out...

5 Best Breakfast Sandwichs, They save me when my kids steal my breakfast.

Einstein’s Bros Bagels Breakfast Bagel Thins – I like their new one which is under 400 calories too.  It is egg white, swiss, asparagus and mushrooms.  I am not a bacon fan, but it is nice to have options.Wheat Bagel Thin
Calories -- 380
Total Fat -- 25 grams 
Dietary Fiber -- 07 grams
Sugar -- 05 grams
Protein -- 09 grams
Carbs -- 30 grams
I am a firm believer that you must have breakfast before leaving the house.  I would never let my kids out of the house without something in their stomach.  But truthfully, about 1-2 times a week, I cannot get my breakfast made.  It comes down to them or me.  If you are a parent, you... Read more »

You Need a Massage, New West Loop Spa

I recently went to a new spa in the West Loop.  HM Spa at 917 W. Madison (312-733-9720).  I have gotten several different treatments there and I have loved all of them.  HM Spa also has these wonderful private spa rooms for a sauna and steam that you can use after your treatment.  They are... Read more »
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Wish You Could Jump Higher?

If you have ever watched White Men Can’t Jump, you probably can sympathize with a person who simply can’t get any air.   But if you are determined to improve your vertical, I have a great toy for you to try.    It is the portable power jumper ($49.99) by Lifeline.   It is different than other weight... Read more »